First we’ll make the rich broth and then add the fish and seafood later. I prepared mine in a large Le Creuset stockpot and I have to warn you, your home will smell so fragrant that you’ll want to book the next flight to Marseille and enjoy fisherman’s stew seaside in this beautiful Mediterranean city.
  • 1cup onionminced
  • 3/4cup leek, white partminced
  • 1/2cup olive oil
  • 4cloves garlicmashed
  • 4medium tomatoes, riperoughly chopped
  • 2 1/2quarts seafood stockI used Swanson brand
  • 6sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/8tsp fennel, dried
  • 2big pinches saffron
  • 2 inchpiece orange peel
  • 1/8tsp pepper
  • shellfish shells, meat removed for use latershrimp, crab, lobster
  • 3-4lbs shell fishshrimp, lobster, crab, clams, mussels
  • 3-4 lbs firm-fleshed fishcod, halibut,flounder, grouper
  1. Cook the onions and leeks slowly in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender but not brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes. Raise heat to moderate and cook 5 minutes more.
  3. Add the seafood stock, herbs, seasonings and shellfish shells and cook uncovered at a moderate boil for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Strain the soup though a mesh sieve, pressing juices out of ingredients. You should have 2 1/2 quarts liquid, if not add additional seafood stock or clam juice.
  5. Correct the seasoning by adding salt or a bit more saffron if you feel it necessary.
  6. Take your 2 1/2 quarts liquid and place in a tall stockpot.
  7. Bring the soup to a rapid boil 20 minutes before serving. Add lobster, crab, and fish. Quickly bring back to a boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, clams and mussels and simmer for 5 minutes longer or until the fish are just tender. Do not over cook or seafood and fish will become tough.
  8. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top. The traditional French way of serving this aromatic soup is to ladle the broth into bowls and serve the fish and seafood on a separate platter.
Recipe Notes

I served both the broth and fish/seafood together in large pasta bowls with No Knead Fougasse (bread) on the side.

For the sake of keeping this somewhat economical I used 1 large lobster, 3 snow crab clusters, 1/2 lb clams, 1 lb jumbo shrimp, 1 lb mussels and 1/2 lb cod.  To be honest, there isn’t a thing I would change next time around, it was absolutely delicious.

If you wish to serve wine with your bouillabaisse, choose a rosé or dry Riesling.  For you red wine lovers a Côte de Provence or Beaujolais would be lovely.




Note:  Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

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