1 pound well-rinsed fish bones (preferably a mixture of sole and snapper)
1 onion, sliced
8 parsley sprigs
1 celery stalk, chopped into 5 or 6 pieces
1 leek, chopped
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
2 bay leaves 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs basil (optional)
2 quarts cold water

In large stockpot, combine all ingredients, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 25 minutes, skimming frequently. When done, strain stock through fine mesh strainer.

Note: Instead of using fish bones, you may use a 1-pound whole fish (remove the head), either snapper or sole. Or you may substitute 1/2 quart of canned clam juice for fish bones. If you use clam juice, reduce water to 1 quart.