Fillet the red mullet and remove the pin bones. Cut the fillets into 2 or 3 pieces.
Remove the eyes and gills from the remaining carcasses. Wash the bones thoroughly and chop into chunks.
Remove the eyes, guts and gills from the gurnards, wash thoroughly and cut the whole fish into chunks.
Peel and dice the onion and the garlic cloves. Cut the fennel and celery into thin slices. Peel and finely dice the red pepper. Zest the orange. Finely dice the chilli.
Heat the fish stock in a saucepan.
Heat a large saucepan until hot and add a splash of olive oil. Add the onion, fennel, celery and red pepper to the pan and sweat over a high heat until soft and nicely coloured. Add the red and grey mullet bones, the gurnard and cook for 10 minutes. Next, add the chopped garlic, orange zest and chilli and cook for a further minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. Add the saffron,star anise, fish stock and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top of the soup.
Allow the soup to rest for 10 minutes and then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Pass the soup through a conical sieve and check the seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 200'C.
Mince the garlic cloves until pureed using the tip of a large knife with a pinch of salt.
Cut the bread into small dice. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the olive oil. Cook the croutons until crispy and then add the butter. Remove from the heat and add the minced garlic. Stir to make sure all of the croutons are covered with the foaming garlic butter. Place the croutons onto kitchen paper and set aside.
To cook the fish: season the red mullet pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan until hot and add a splash of sunflower oil. Cook skin side down until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to the oven if necessary to finish cooking the fish.
Squeeze on some lemon juice when the fish is cooked.
Whilst the fish is cooking, gently reheat the soup.
To serve: Ladle the soup into a bowl, place the mullet pieces in the centre and sprinkle garlic croutons into the soup. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
«To make this soup into a main course add fresh mussels and chunks of monkfish to the soup when re-heating.»