Classic French Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.  Use several different fresh fish and seafood varieties.  MY favorites are a combination of fish and shellfish.  Don’t forget to serve a good hunk of crusty bread along side!

INGREDIENTS

For the Soup Base
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovies, finely chopped or 1 tsp. (5 ml) anchovy paste
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1 yellow pepper, diced small
1 red pepper, diced small
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, diced small
4 medium white mushrooms, diced small
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
3 strips of orange peel (use a veg peeler)
½ tsp. fennel seeds
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 (14 oz/398 mL) can tomatoes, chopped finely
1 675-750 mL bottle of strained tomatoes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes or 12 baby potatoes, halved or quartered
1⅓ cups (325 mL) dry white wine
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Fish
2 lbs combination of skinless cod and salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
1-2 lbs of mixed seafood, mussels, clams, shrimps, scallops
Onion-salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for the fish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over med heat.  Add the onion, sauté until just beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute.  Add the anchovies, cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the carrots, peppers and jalapeno pepper, cook for a few minutes.  Add the zucchini and mushrooms, cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes, orange peel, fennel and thyme, stir.
  2. Add both types of tomatoes, bring to a boil, turn the heat to low.  Add the potatoes, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Add 4 cups (1000 mL) water and the wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer UNCOVERED for another 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Remove the bay leaf and orange peel.  At this point the soup base can be frozen.  Defrost and bring back to a boil before continuing with step 4.
  4. Let the fish and seafood sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before adding to the hot soup.  Season the fish a seafood well with onion-salt, pepper and olive oil, add to the pot along with the parsley and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the fish pieces flake, do not overcook or stir too roughly.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a good hunk or crusty bread.

Serves 6 for dinner

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