This traditional soup coming from the island of Mediterranean island of Malta is delicious and made from the smallest fish one can come across at markets. Easy to prepare.
500g small fish like sprats, sardines, bogue (boops), gutted but left whole
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, de-seeded & chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried mint
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
100ml dry sherry or dry white wine
2 fish stock pots or stock cubes
1.5 litres boiling water
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oil and cook the onion & garlic covered and on low heat until golden brown. About 5-10 minutes
Add the tomatoes, fish, mint, marjoram, salt, pepper and stir slowly, so as not to break the fish. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the sherry or wine, give it a stir and cook until all liquid has evaporated.
Now add the stock pots or cubes to a measuring jug and dissolve them in some boiling water, about half a litre or so. Now add to the fish in the pot, add the remaining litre of boiling water. Stir carefully, add the tomato paste and stir again.
Bring to the boil and simmer on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Now if you do not like munching on the edible tiny fish bones, just pass the soup through a fine sieve before serving.