Bouillabaisse is a hearty, rich seafood soup made using different kinds of fish and shellfish, cooked in a delicious broth of vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, flavoured with saffron. Originally from the city of Marseille in France, this age-old dish was traditionally made with the “catch of the day” and less marketable kinds of small, bony fish. Back then, bouillabaisse would be served in two parts: the broth with bread and a spicy garlic sauce called rouille, then the fish. Now, bouillabaisse is eaten as a whole, making it something between a soup and a stew.
- 250ml dry white wine
- 1 kg assorted shellfish in their shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion – diced
- 2 cloves garlic – chopped
- 450g potatoes – peeled and cut into small cubes (use a floury potato as this will break down and thicken the sauce a little)
- 1 medium leek – cleaned and sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb – chopped
- 2 strips of peel from an orange
- Pinch saffron
- Pinch chilli flakes
- A few sprigs parsley, thyme and a bay leaf – tied together
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 4 large ripe tomatoes – diced
- 500ml fish stock
- 750g filleted, boned and skinned firm fleshed white fish
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley to serve
- 1 roasted red pepper approximately 115g
- 1-2 teaspoons Harissa paste, depending on taste
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 garlic gloves – finely minced
- 6 tablespoons soft white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4-6 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 sliced baguette to serve
- Heat the wine in the casserole to a simmer, add the cleaned shellfish, cover and cook between 4-5 minutes until prawns are pink and other shellfish such as mussels and clams are open.
- Lift the shellfish from the stock into a bowl and discard any unopened shell fish.
- Strain the cooking stock though a fine sieve to remove any sand or grit and add to the fish stock. It should total around 1 litre.
- Heat the oil in the casserole and add the onion, garlic, diced potato, leek and fennel, cook for 5-6 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Add the orange peel, saffron, chilli flakes, the tied herb bunch, tomato puree and cubed tomatoes.
- Pour in the fish stock with the added shellfish cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, place on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove and discard the orange peel and tied herbs.
- Add the prepared white fish to the casserole. Start with the thickest and most dense before adding the softer more delicate fish. This should take only a few minutes or the fish may overcook.
- Return the cooked shellfish to the casserole. Stir, and heat through until piping hot.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley.
- Blend the roasted pepper, Harissa paste, lemon juice, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Slowly add the remaining olive oil until a thick sauce consistency is achieved. Season to taste with salt and place into a ramekin or serving bowl.
- Serve the Bouillabaisse with the Rouille and sliced baguette.