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.

Makes4 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 mins

Cooking Time45 min

Cooking Time - Text45


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationhealthy, low-fat

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner, lunch


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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.



I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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@colette_de_provence13 Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner have an easy recipe for aioli that you can find here:

I spent many Summers in France and watched my French Mother and her Sisters make Ailloli to go along with the Bouillabaisse. I've neve heard of Rouille. Would you have an easy recipe for Ailloli by any chance? The one from scratch is so hard to make.


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