Quick Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse with roille & bread

When I cook, my preferred method is improvisation. As I didn't have time tonight to create an authentic bouillabaisse, I trusted my cookery skills and I found again a way to rustle up a decent dinner. Here is my quick bouillabaisse recipe, which took me less than 1.5 hours to rustle up. A proper Provence bouillabaisse requires two days to make.

Step 1
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 12 threads of saffron, powdered
  • 1 Leek, finely chopped 
  • 2 Celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 Fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of one lemon or 1/2 of orange
  • 4 dl water
  • 3 tbsp. of orange juice with bits

Pour EVOO into a large hot pot, then add the saffron, grated lemon/orange zest, and the finely chopped vegetables. Fry in medium heat, stirring until vegetables are slightly browned and colored by the saffron. Now add the water, orange juice, and simmer until vegetables are soft, and then puree with a stick mixer. 

Step 2

  • 7 Potatoes, chopped in cubes
  • 75 g Tomato puree (double concentrated)
  • 1,5 l of boiling water
  • 1 vegetable cube
  • Salt, according to your taste
  • ½ tsp of Cayenne pepper, powder 
  • Dried or fresh Herbes de Provence (crushed fennel seeds, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme), according to your taste
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper, according to your taste

Add the rest of the water, chopped potatoes and tomato puree into the pot with pureed vegetables. Simmer in medium low heat. Add your favourite Herbes de Provence, salt & pepper.

Step 3

Whilst the potatoes are simmering, slice your choice of fish. Today, I bought from my grocery store the following:

  • 150 g Perch fillet, deboned
  • 180 g Zander fillet, deboned
  • 180 g Coregonus lavaretus (white fish) fillet, deboned
  • 375 g Cod, frozen raw
  • 200 g Mussels, frozen cooked, without shell
  • 40 g butter 

When the potatoes are nearly cooked, bring to a boil and add the frozen cod pieces. When the soup starts boiling again, lower the heat and add the rest of the fish, mussels and a knob of butter, and cook on medium heat until the fish is cooked, but not broken into bits. 

Step 4

Serve with the soup sliced freshly baked bread and rouille, which is a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, plenty of threads of saffron, and cayenne pepper. I bought my garlic mayo ready, so I mixed in only some Cayenne pepper and saffron. 
Bouillabaisse is traditionally served in two stages: first you eat the soup, in which you can soak stale or toasted bread rubbed with garlic and covered with rouille, and then separately you eat the fish, seafood and potatoes. 

Whatever soup I make, I always make a large batch, so that I can have some for lunch with my husband as we are working at home as distance working recommendations were reinstated across the Helsinki region. I can't wait to have bouillabaisse for lunch tomorrow!