This clear soup is as simple as can be and it’s a recipe Salvelio and his brother, Stephanus, learnt from their mother, who came from Spain. You can jazz up the basic recipe with fresh fish and other seafood like prawns.
Good glug of olive oil; 1 medium onion, chopped; 2 medium cloves of garlic, thinly sliced; half a red pepper and half a yellow pepper, cut into chunks; 4 frozen hake fillets, cut into biggish blocks (about 400g); 1 cup frozen mussel meat; 2 medium potatoes, cut into biggish blocks; about 1,5 litres of fish stock (or boiling water and 1 tsp of good-quality vegetable stock powder); salt to taste (about 1 tsp); 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton); 1 small handful of fresh parsley, chopped; a handful of small pasta shells (optional).
Fry onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil in a big saucepan for a few minutes; add hake and mussel meat and fry a bit longer. Add potato and stir through, then top with boiling water / stock until just covered. Season and add paprika. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered, until fish and potatoes are almost done. Stir occasionally, but take care not to break up the fish too much. Towards the end, add chopped parsley as well as pasta shells, if desired. Check seasoning. Cook till pasta shells are done and serve.