Bouillabaisse is a traditional stew originating from southern France in the city of Marseille. I love making bouillabaisse because it is so versatile! I loving going to the store and seeing all the different fish that are in season that day. Because you can add any seafood you like, I rarely make it the same twice! Some days I’ll feel like being fancy and throw in some crab, scallops and prawns into the mix too. While some days I only want to use shrimp and muscles. It’s up to you! This keeps making bouillabaisse a fresh dinner option in our home. Today I’m going to share a classic bouillabaisse recipe that I’ve thrown together over the years from bits and pieces of other recipes. The french say “bouillabaisse without rouille, is like Marseille without sunshine” so I made sure to also share my favorite rouille recipe for you all to garnish your bouillabaisse too!
Let’s get started!
- 3/4 c Fresh French Bread Crumbs
- 3 Tbs Water
- 1/4 tsp Coarse or Crystal Sea Salt
- 4 Tbs Good Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- Good Olive Oil
- 1 Chopped Onion
- 1 Chopped Leak (including the white end)
- 3 Celery Stalks
- 2 Carrots Chopped
- 2 Medium Sized Red Potatoes
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Saffron
- 3 c Seafood Stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 c Diced Tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1 1/2 lbs Of At Least Two Varieties Of White Fish
- 10 Little Neck Clams
- 15 Muscles
- Parsley and Rouille For Garnish
Step One: Add water to the bread crumbs until well absorbed.
Step Two: Transfer the wet bread crumbs to a mortar and pestle, add garlic, salt, cayenne and olive oil and pound into a paste. Refrigerate.
Step One: Using a dutch oven, or deep skillet add a generous amount of olive oil to create a thick layer at the bottom. Add the onion, leak, celery, carrots and red potatoes and saffron until glossy. About 3-4 minutes.
Step Two: Add your seafood stock and tomatoes. Adjust the heat to maintain a medium boil. A delicious base is key in bouillabaisse so season with salt and pepper until your base is flavorful enough that you wouldn’t even care if you add fish. 😉 Continue to reduce your soup until it looks more “stewy” than “soupy”. About another 10 minutes.
Step Three: Adjust your heat to a low setting and simmer. Add your Fish and shellfish. Cook until all the fish is cooked through! About 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Step Four: Ladle hot soup, fish, and shellfish and into a bowl. Garnish with parsley and a rouille and serve with warm toasted french bread.
Like most French cooking, “stocks” and “sauce” are key! They take the most “time” but making sure you start off with a great base will guarantee your success with a french recipe! If you don’t make homemade seafood stock, you can use water or a good quality vegetable stock. But I encourage you to try making your own stock at home! It’s a huge game changer and you’ll never go back to the store bought stuff!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I hope you come back and visit In The House Of David again soon for more recipes, home, DIY and fun!
Come over again soon!