Waterzooi de Lotte et Moules (Monkfish and Mussel Waterzooi)


Waterzooi is a traditional Flemish soup come stew which was originally prepared with freshwater fish and vegetables but the best known version is with chicken. Waterzooi also works well with a variety of seafood or with rabbit.

4 Portions as a Main or 6 as a starter
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes



  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 bunch of asparagus or 150g asparagus tips
  • 600-700g waxy potato e.g. Desiree


  • 1 medium monkfish tail on the bone or 2 fillets (200-250g each)
  • 24 mussels


  • 250ml fish stock
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 100ml white wine (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 150ml double cream
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

To Serve

  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves


  1. Vegetables:Trim the asparagus so that you have 5-6 cm tips (set the stems aside to use in a soup). Clean and peel the carrots and potatoes and trim the courgette ends. Cut them into batons 5-6 cm long and 1-1.5cm wide.
  2. Seafood: If the monkfish is on the bone cut it from the bone by cutting along it down the centre so that you have 2 fillets. Trim the fillets and carefully remove the tough membrane that covers them, cut them into medallions and flatten them slightly with the side of your knife. Scrub the mussels and pull off their beards, any of the mussels that are open and don't close when tapped sharply should be discarded.
  3. Stew: Place the stock, wine, bay leaf and garlic clove in a large saucepan or casserole pan, place it on a stove and bring it to the boil. Reduce the stock to a simmer and add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes then add the carrots and cook them for a further 5 minutes. Add the courgettes and asparagus and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the stock, they should be cooked but still crisp and firm (set them aside until ready to use).
  4. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce it by half. Add the mussels to the stock, reduce it to a simmer and cover it with a lid and leave them to cook for 3-5 minutes, remove the mussels from the stock when they just open and set them aside until ready to reheat (any that don't open discard).
  5. Strain the stock removing the bay leaf and garlic clove, place it back in the pan and return it to a simmer add the cream and seasoning. Add the monkfish to the pan and cook for and cook for 1 minute then add the vegetables and mussels to the stew and heat through for a couple of minutes. Remove the vegetables fish and mussels from the pan and serve.
  6. To Serve: Distribute the the vegetable among 4-6 soup bowls or deep plates, placing them in the centre. Place the monkfish medallions around the vegetables and place the mussels on top. Sprinkle the herbs around the plate, leaving 1 tbsp to garnish. Pour the soup over the vegetables and seafood and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Serve