Five years ago, Syrco Bakker from Resto Bar Pure C and Sergio Herman bundled together fifty of their recipes in the Pure C Cookbook. It immediately became – and still is – the must-have book for all chefs and foodies. This book is a bit like an aperitif: it’ll make your mouth water and you’ll be itching to give the recipes a go yourself.

On our quest for the best summer dishes, there was one which just could not be ignored: the Rich Fish Soup in Pure C style. We could have gone for a lavish bouillabaisse on a sun-drenched terrace in Sète, but this is a creative interpretation of that theme by the Cadzand masters. If you can no longer get your hands on a second-hand copy of the cookbook, not to worry! The recipe for this top dish is here below.

Make sure you have enough fish heads and leftovers before you get started, because they provide the intense flavour experience!

Rich fish soup

Serves 4

Fish soup


  • 1 lobster head
  • 5 langoustine heads
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 hand-chopped onions, carrots, leeks, blanched celery and fennel
  • 2 sprigs thyme and rosemary
  • 100 g tomato purée
  • 50 ml cognac
  • 50 ml Ricard
  • 2 dl white wine
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • cayenne pepper and salt
  • 2 l water
  • 1 fish head without gills and eyes
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g Debic Cream 35%, whipped


  1. Chop the lobster and langoustine heads into pieces and fry in a good dash of olive oil.
  2. Add the vegetables, herbs and spices and fry together. Add the tomato purée and fry (this deacidifies the purée).
  3. Pour the cognac over the mixture and flambé. Then add the Ricard and white wine and reduce.
  4. Sprinkle the saffron, cayenne pepper and a little salt over the mixture and just cover with water.
  5. Add the chopped fish head and leave to simmer for four hours.
  6. Take the heads out of the soup, mix using a hand blender and pass through a sieve.
  7. Before serving, add the butter and cream and whisk using a hand blender until frothy.

Roasted tomatoes


  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • pepper and salt
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme


  1. Wash the tomatoes and fry gently in olive oil.
  2. Season with pepper and salt and add garlic and thyme to taste while frying.

Saffron potatoes


  • 2 large potatoes
  • salt
  • 5 threads saffron


Cook the potatoes with the saffron in salted water.



  • 1 head garlic
  • 200 g goose fat
  • 2 egg yolks
  • corn oil
  • pepper and salt
  • splash of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar


  1. Remove the garlic cloves from the head and season with pepper, salt and a little sugar.
  2. Cook in the goose fat over a gentle heat for half an hour. Leave the cloves to cool and then peel.
  3. Mix the fried garlic with the egg yolks in the blender until smooth.
  4. Beat in a little oil, as you would with mayonnaise.
  5. Season with pepper and salt and freshen with Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar.



  • 4 shrimps
  • pepper and salt
  • knob butter
  • 1 tbsp Debic Cream 35%, wipped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped shallots
  • ½ clover pressed garlic
  • lemon juice and zest
  • chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Cut the shrimps into two lengthways and remove the intestinal tract. Grill on both sides and season with pepper and salt.
  3. Coat the shrimps with a knob of butter, whipped cream, shallots and garlic. Bake the shrimps in the hot oven for two minutes.
  4. Freshen with lemon juice and grated peel and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Baked plaice


  • 350 g fillets of plaice
  • pepper and salt
  • clarified butter


  1. Divide the plaice into four portions. Leave to come to room temperature and season with pepper and salt.
  2. Cook the plaice in clarified butter, add a knob of butter and baste regularly with cooking fat until done.


Pour the frothy soup into bowls and divide the other preparations among them, as shown in the photo. For an even richer fish soup, you could add mussels, cockles, razor fish, glasswort, sugar snaps and spring onions.

And which ‘plat de résistance' follows on best from this rich appetizer? In this book you will also discover the North Sea crab salad (see photo). A perfect match! Finish with a wickedly delicious Chocolate tart.

Pure C:

Het Pure C Kookboek

Author: Syrco Bakker and Sergio Herman

Co-author: Mara Grimm

Publisher: Minestrone Cookbooks

Dutch – 235 pages – 9789490028480 – August 2012


Photography: © 2012 Tony Le Duc for Minestrone Cookbooks.


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