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Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

BOUILLABAISSE

Ingredients

For the soup broth:
Bones and shells from the fish and shell fish, completely rinsed
9 cups water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
10 whole sprigs parsley

For the soup base:
2 large onions, chopped finely
10 garlic cloves, chopped roughly or crushed
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped very finely
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Small handful fresh thyme leaves
3 to 5 long strips of orange rind (no white pith)
3 bay leaves
6 to 12 saffron stems
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely (remove seeds and white "ribbing")
1 pound frozen cod, thawed and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
A few splashes of Pernod

 

For the "body" of the soup:
3 to 4 pounds of various fish or shellfish.

Traditional bouillabaisse has no shellfish, but there is no harm in adding mussels, shrimp, crab or lobster if you feel like it.

There are many kinds of fish you can add to make this your own fish soup recipe. Haddock, red snapper, monk fish, sea bass, striped bass are all good choices. Just avoid the oily, fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, as these will overpower rather than blend in with the other ingredients.

Preparation
1. In a large soup pot, combine all the ingredients for the broth. Bring to a very light boil, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or so.

2. Run the broth through a strainer, and keep it aside.

3. Heat the oil in the soup pot on medium low to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, parsley, fennel seed (1 teaspoon, not both), and salt. Saute until the onions are soft.

4. Add tomatoes, thyme, orange peel, bay leaves, pepper, saffron and jalapeno. Simmer for up to 30 minutes.

5. Return the fish broth to the soup pot. Add the pound of chopped fish and cook until fish is completely cooked.

6. Remove the orange peel (if it is in large strips) and bay leaves and put them aside. We do not want to puree them.

7. Either use a hand-held blender to puree the soup, or puree in a stand-up blender in batches. Add the bay leaves and orange peels back to the soup, and pour in the white wine and cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Add Pernod.

8. Add the various fish to the soup. Add the longest-cooking fish first so all the fish ends up cooked at the same time.

Fish soup or bouillabaise is about experimenting with your ingredients as well. Try a variation on this recipe according to your personal preferences. Click here for more exciting recipes by Karen Food.