The signature dish of Marseille, bouillabaisse is a classic
French seafood stew enjoyed not only at our Cote d’Azur villas but all over
France. Full of delicious fresh fish and seafood, this stew gets its wonderful
colour from tomatoes and saffron, though is bursting with the hints of flavour
added by the variety of herbs. If you’re craving a taste of France, have a go
at this recipe, and you’ll be reminded of meals overlooking the Mediterranean
in no time.
Ingredients (makes 12 portions)
2kg (5lb) mullet or seabass
350g (12oz) cleaned and debearded mussels
350g fresh peeled prawns
3 peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
2 sliced leeks
2 thinly sliced onions
4 minced cloves of garlic
175ml (6fl oz) olive oil
1 sprig fresh fennel
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 pinch saffron threads
Salt and pepper, to taste
Get a large saucepan warm over the hob, before heating the
olive oil and adding the tomatoes, leeks, onions and garlic. Cook over a low
heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the vegetables go soft.
Stir in the fennel, thyme, bay leaf and grated orange zest
for a new burst of flavour and aroma.
Create the sauce by adding two litres (3˝
pints) of boiling water, as well as the mussels. Season the mixture to taste
with as much salt and pepper as you wish, before turning the heat up to high.
Let the soup boil for around three minutes, allowing the olive oil and the
water to combine.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the fish and
prawns. Allow the stew to keep bubbling away until the fish is cooked – this
should take 12-15 minutes. At this point, the fish should be tender, but not falling
Finally, add some more salt and pepper to taste, before
stirring in the saffron to give the stew its trademark colour. Serve
immediately in warm bowls with some freshly baked bread.
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