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



  1. 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.
  2. Lift the shellfish from the stock into a bowl and discard any unopened shell fish.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the orange peel, saffron, chilli flakes, the tied herb bunch, tomato puree and cubed tomatoes.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove and discard the orange peel and tied herbs.
  8. 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.
  9. Return the cooked shellfish to the casserole. Stir, and heat through until piping hot.
  10. Sprinkle the chopped parsley.


  1. Blend the roasted pepper, Harissa paste, lemon juice, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve the Bouillabaisse with the Rouille and sliced baguette.

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