Poached Turbot with Fennel Velouté

This is an easy dish to make for a dinner party that looks and tastes luxurious, but is easy to execute.

poached veloute.jpg


  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fish broth, cold
  • 1 Tablespoon (250 g) fennel, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream


  1. To make the velouté, melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a moderate heat. Add shallots and diced fennel, and sauté until ingredients are softened but not coloured.
  2. Add flour and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Whisk in the cold stock, then cook the sauce over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until nicely thickened, whisking occasionally. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Carefully transfer the sauce to the Vitamix container and secure the lid. Select Variable 1, start the machine, and slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 20 seconds, then reduce the speed to Variable 5 and remove the lid plug.
  4. Drizzle in the cream. Secure the lid plug, return to highest speed, and blend for a few seconds. Stop the machine, check the seasoning and set aside while you prepare the other elements.
  5. To prepare the cabbage, remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage, slice in half lengthways and cut out the hard inner core.
  6. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil, add the cabbage and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. (You want the cabbage to be a nice vibrant green colour, so plunge into iced water to stop the cooking process.)
  7. Finely slice the cabbage, place in a tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the fish stock for the turbot in a wide, shallow pan until just simmering to get ready for poaching.
  9. To finish the greens, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a good splash of olive oil, followed by the shallots and garlic. Fry until the shallots are softened but not coloured.
  10. Add the cabbage and a good knob of butter, stirring to mix thoroughly and heat right through. Season with salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
  11. Add the turbot fillets to the fish stock, remove from the hob and allow them to poach gently in the residual heat for approximately 4 minutes, until cooked. (It should be opaque all the way through but still slightly firm.) Drain and season with a little salt.
  12. To finish the velouté, add the raw, finely diced fennel to a pan and pour the velouté over the top, heating gently until hot (but not boiling). Stir in some chopped fresh fennel fronds for a stronger fennel flavour.
  13. Add a little more butter to the cabbage for a luxurious finish and immediately divide between serving bowls. Top with the poached turbot, pour the velouté and diced fennel around the cabbage and finish with some more fennel fronds and a grating of lemon zest.