Hey all seafood-lovers! I have something amazing to share with you today.
This recipe for simple bouillabaisse (or seafood soup) is so good I promise you’ll be hearing angels singing with every spoonful. Every bite is a flavor bomb that will take you directly to the south of France overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. My first meeting with bouillabaisse was in the small French fisher town Collioure, where they served it with chunks of potatoes. I have implemented this in my version, as it is freaking delicious and makes it more rustic. I don’t stick to the traditional recipe as I have chunks of vegetables in, and leave out the fennel. Also, I use dill for seasoning (because we just love dill at home!).
It’s great food for impressing your guests or simply enjoying on nights where you feel like caring extra much for dinner. There’s a few steps to get through, but nothing mayor you won’t be able to do within an hours time.
TIP: Traditionally, it is served with bread and aioli, yet I also made herb butter with garlic. It was great to smear on the baguette and dip in the sauce! And really, another excuse to put garlic in the food – what’s not to like?
Great Bouillabaisse Recipe
Total time 1 hour, Serves 4
1 kg mussels
500 g cod or another white fish of choice
2 garlic cloves
2 tasteful tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 canned tomatoes (peeled or chopped)
500 ml white wine
1 liter fish stock
50 ml cream
A pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 handful fresh dill
Salt and pepper
50 g soft butter
A pinch of fresh dill and parsley
1 garlic clove
Nice bread and aioli
- Prepare your vegetables. Chop the shallots and the garlic finely. Make sure to smash the garlic a bit before chopping to help the flavor out. Set a side and chop the carrots in slices of minimum half a centimeter, cut the tomatoes and potatoes in pieces of about 2 x 2 cm. It is important not to make them too small, as we want them to maintain a good texture and avoid becoming too mushy. If you are using peeled tomatoes you need to cut these up as well. I like the peeled ones, as I think they have more flavor in them.
- Now, prep the fish and mussels. Remove the skin from the fish if it has any on, and cut into pieces that fit on a spoon. Cleanse the mussels by washing them properly and pulling off the “beard”. If any of them are open, gently knock them in the sink and make sure they close up. Otherwise discard them.
- Take a deep frying pan and heat it up. Add 1 dl of the white wine and let the alcohol damp away. Takes about 30 seconds. Add the mussels and cover. Let simmer for around 5-6 minutes until they open.
- Set a side and remove half of the mussels from the shell. Make sure to save the soup as you’ll need it later.
- Wipe your pan and add olive oil. Heat it up, add the shallots and garlic. Let them sweat for a bit and add the carrot and potato. Fry on medium heat for a few minutes. Be careful not to brown them. Add the saffron to get it fragrant and then the tomato paste. Let it cook a bit before adding the fresh tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the rest of the white wine and let the alcohol damp away. Pour in the mussel soup and the fish stock. Let it boil and reduce for 10 minutes before you add the canned tomatoes. Add lemon juice, thyme, tarragon, and cayenne. Now, it just needs to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean up your kitchen and get going on that herb butter. In a mortar, smash garlic, parsley, and dill. Make a good paste before you add the soft butter. Mix well and put in the fridge in a small bowl until it’s dinner time.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Add the cream and stir well. Now, check how the potatoes are doing. As soon as they are ready, you can add the fish meat. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and give it a spin over the heat for few minutes or until the cod is flaky.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with dill and lemon wedges. Enjoy with herb butter, aioli, and nice bread like baguette or sourdough.