Originally nothing more than a humble fisherman's soup using the remains of the day's catch, bouillabaisse has evolved into one of the great dishes. Good with a crisp, dry white wine or a Côtes de Provence rosè. Serve leftover rouille as a spread on a sandwich or as a dip.
Prepare ahead: The rouille can be made and chilled for up to 2 days.
Preparation Time20 min
Preparation Time - Text20 mins
Cooking Time45 min
Cooking Time - Text45
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationhealthy, low-fat
Taste and Texturegarlicky, rich, savory
Type of Dishfish soup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2–3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cups hot fish or chicken stock
- 1 bouquet garni with 1 celery stalk, 4 thyme springs, and 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 strip of orange zest
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 lb (1.35kg) mixed fish fillets and shellfish, such as red snapper, cod, bluefish, clams, mussels, and shrimp, prepared as necessary
- 2 tbsp Pernod (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices day-old French bread, toasted, for serving
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 small, fresh hot red chile, seeded and roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp salt
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, fennel, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 5–8 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened but not colored. Add the tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste and stir until blended.
Add the stock, bouquet garni, saffron, orange zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the soup is reduced slightly, stirring occasionally.
To make the rouille, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed.
Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks. Remove the orange zest and bouquet garni from the stock, and add the shellfish. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the fish fillets and simmer for a 2–3 minutes more or until the fish flakes easily. Stir in the Pernod, if using, and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spread each piece of toast with rouille and put 2 slices in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the soup,. including a good selection of fish and shellfish.
2008 Dorling Kindersley