Parihuela – Peruvian Seafood Soup

Parihuela - Peruvian Seafood Soup
Spicy, fragrant and loaded with seafood, Parihuela is Peru's version of bouillabaisse. Don't be tempted to omit the Peruvian chillies and paste from the recipe as they lend unique and extremely fruity flavours to the base of the soup.
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Cook time: 
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  • 1.5 kg fish heads and bones
  • 600 g white fish fillets, such as snapper, cut into large pieces
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup white wine or chicha de hora
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli pepper paste (aji panca)
  • 3 dried yellow chillies (aji mirasol)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus extra, to serve
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus extra, to serve
  • 16 mussels, cleaned
  • 8 clams
  • 300 g calamari, sliced into ½ cm thick rings
  • 200 g green prawns
  • 200 g green prawns, peeled, tails intact
  • 8 scallops
  1. Place the fish heads and bones in a stock pot and cover with 2½ litres (10 cups) cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Place a large frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and fry the fish, in batches, for 1 minute on each side until golden but not cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and tip out all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomato, paprika, hot chilli paste, dried yellow chillies, bay leaf and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until aromatic and the mixture starts to darken. Increase heat to high, pour in the wine and cook for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Add the fish stock, coriander and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add the mussels, clams and calamari. Cook for 1 minute, add the unpeeled prawns and reserved fish and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the peeled prawns and scallops, remove from the heat and allow to poach for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.
  4. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon and extra herbs.
Aji mirasol, aji panca paste and chicha de hora are all available from Latin food stores.

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