While at cooking school in Lyon, France, I had the good fortune to learn from Chef Luc, who hailed from Marseille, the home of Bouillabaisse.
His recipe is a time-consuming labor of love, although this recipe still requires some work, it is s simpler version but not shy on flavor. The stock can be prepared in larger portions and frozen, as can the soup, with the fish added at service.
Bones, head and tail of one or two small or one large non oily fish such as snapper or grouper.
1/2 Fennel Bulb, rough chopped
1 Yellow Onion, rough chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 Celery stalks, rough chopped
1 head Garlic, halved
2 sprigs Oregano
1 Bay leaf
1/3 bottle Dry White Wine
1 Gallon water, or enough to cover fish and ingredients.
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
1 cup Leeks, light green and white parts, chopped
1 Orange, juiced plus 1 teaspoon zest
1 tablespoon Pastis or Pernod, optional (Sambuca is a good substitute)
6 Saffron threads
1 Bay leaf, crumbled
1 tsp. Chili Flakes
3 quarts Fish Stock
2 cups Strained Tomatoes (POMI or other brand)
2 cups Potatoes, peeled and diced (Russet or Yukon)
Salt, to taste
Olive Oil, for cooking
1 to 1.5 pounds fish fillets such as snapper, grouper, whiting, flounder, cut into large chunks
2 to 3 pounds assorted shellfish such as Mussels, Clams, Scallops, Shrimp, cleaned and tail off.
2 tablespoons chopped Parsley
- Place all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to cook for two hours. Cool, strain and discard solids.
- Heat a large sauté pan, add a little olive oil and slow caramelize the onions, adding touches of water to the pan if they stick.
- Add the garlic and leeks, cook until softened.
- Deglaze the pan with the Pernod or Pastis, if using
- Add the seasonings, all liquids ingredients, and the potatoes.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are softened.
- Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and add fish and shellfish, cook with lid on until fish is just cooked through 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve in deep bowl, garnish with parsley and rouille (optional)
- Serve with a crusty bread
*NOTE: You may double the recipe to yield extra, freeze immediately in Mason Jars and use to steam mussels, and a s a base for recipes such as a fish chowder.