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The Art of Making a Delicious Bouillabaisse You'll Love

Although there are many ways to prepare this classic French fish soup, this is one of the closest to the traditional bouillabaisse recipes, while remaining relatively simple to make.

The bouillabaisse

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 1 small fennel bulb

  • 1 leek

  • 4-5 tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 lb potatoes

  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds

  • 10 saffron threads

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 orange

  • 1 lb fresh fish 500 g

  • 2 cups shrimps 200 g

  • 1 lb mussels 500 g

  • 1 liter fish broth

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tbsp pastis Pernod Ricard

  • Salt

  • Fresh parsley

For the rouille

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 slices of bread , baguette

  • 6 saffron threads

  • 1 tsp paprika powder

  • 1 tsp Piment d’espelette or cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • A few drops of lemon juice

  • 2/3 cup of olive oil


  • Thinly slice onion, fennel and leek. Cut tomatoes and potatoes into cubes.

  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, fennel and leek. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.

  • Add the fennel seeds, saffron threads, tomatoes and orange zest. Stir and cook for a few minutes to release the flavours.

  • Deglaze with pastis and white wine. Remove the orange zest, then pour in the fish stock.

  • Option: blend the soup and pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Set aside in the saucepan.

  • Add the potatoes, bay leaf and orange zest and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

  • Rinse the mussels well and remove any open or broken ones. Cut the fish into cubes. Pour over the fish, shrimps and mussels.

  • Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through, the shrimps are pink and the mussels have opened.

  • Discard any mussels that have not opened during cooking.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and pour the bouillabaisse into serving bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

For the rouille sauce (prepare it before or while the soup is simmering)

  • Infuse saffron with lemon juice. Using a food processor or a hand blender, blend egg yolks, garlic, Dijon mustard, soaked bread, saffron mix, salt, paprika, and piment d'espelette.

  • Gradually drizzle in olive oil while blending until creamy. Adjust seasoning, chill for 30 minutes, and serve with fish stew or as a dip for bread and veggies.

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