Thursday, January 26, 2012
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.
1⁄4 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
3lb (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
For the rouille
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1 small, fresh hot red chili,
seeded and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1⁄2 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 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.
good wIth A crisp, dry white wine or a Côtes de Provence rosé. Serve leftover rouille
as a spread on a sandwich or as a dip.
The rouille can be made and chilled for up to 2 days.