- October 2014
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 50 min, simmering time 2 hours
A classic French bouillabaisse recipe is a combination of rich broth and delicate pieces of fresh fish, served with rouille-smeared toasts.
- 24.5g (3.8g saturated)
- 24.1g (5.7g sugars)
- Drizzle olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 4 salted anchovy fillets, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp tomato pure´e
- 1 strip orange zest
- 3 medium sustainably sourced fish,filleted, bones and head reserved (see food team’s tip): 1 firm-fleshed fish such as gurnard; 1 sea bream; and 1 john dory
- 200ml dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 600g sustainable mussels
- 1 small tub brown crabmeat
- Pastis, such as Pernod or Ricard
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
For the rouille
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Generous pinch sea salt flakes
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks • 35ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 125ml light olive oil
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 2 pinches saffron threads, plus extra to garnish (optional)
- Juice 1/2 lemon to taste
- 1/2 baguette, sliced thinly and toasted
- Put the oil, onion, fennel, carrot, celery, leek, anchovies and garlic in a large stock pot and cook gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato pure´e and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the orange zest, fish bones and heads (see tip), white wine, bay and thyme, turn up the heat and bubble away most of the liquid. Add 3 litres cold water, bring to a boil, skim off any scum on the top, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer until reduced by two thirds (about 2 hours), then strain into a large saute´ pan (discard the veg and fish bones).
- Meanwhile, make the rouille. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic to a paste with the salt flakes. Add the egg yolks and stir vigorously with the pestle until pale and thick. Mix the olive oils in a jug and very slowly trickle into the egg mixture, stirring all the time (it might be easier to get someone to trickle in the oil). You’ll end up with a thick mayonnaise- like paste. If it looks like it’s about to split (you’ll see a sheen of oil on top), stir in a dribble of cold water or lemon juice.
- Once all the oil has been incorporated, add the cayenne, then rub the saffron between your fingers to release the flavour and stir through. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice. Spoon into a bowl and cover with cling film touching the surface to prevent the rouille from forming a skin.
- When the broth is ready, tip the mussels into a sink of cold water and scrub them if they’re dirty or barnacled. Pull off any thread-like beards, then set aside – discard any that don’t close when tapped.
- To skin the filleted fish, hold each fillet by the tail end with a piece of kitchen paper. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut into the fish in front of your fingers, until you reach the fish skin. Keeping the knife at a slight angle (about 30 degrees), push the blade gently forward – but not pressing down – along the fillet, using a sawing motion to separate the flesh from the skin. Run your fingers over the fillets to feel for bones, removing any with a pair of tweezers. Keeping the types of fish separate, slice into 4cm chunks.
- Heat the broth until simmering, stir in the brown crabmeat, then drop in the firm fish (gurnard) chunks with the mussels. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the bream and the john dory. Make sure the fish is covered with liquid, then simmer gently for 2 minutes, without stirring, until the chunks are uniformly white but not breaking up. Remove and discard any mussels that remain unopened after cooking.
- Gently stir in a good glug of pastis, then taste and add lemon juice, salt or pepper as needed. Add a little more pastis if you can’t taste it. Spread the rouille on the baguette slices and scatter with extra saffron (optional), scatter the soup with parsley and serve straightaway.
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