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Bouillabaisse Soup Recipe

The bouillabaisse is one of France’s most popular attractions, moreover it is also Provence’s traditional pride when it comes to a great meal. The fish-based soup is a delightful blend of delicious ingredients and aromas one can never forget after tasting, and the perfect solution when expecting guest. Discover the bouillabaisse soup recipe and try it yourself!

The special thing about the bouillabaisse soup is that it's actually one of Provence’s reasons of pride: its herbs and spices. Made of fish, shellfish and vegetables, this soup takes most of its unique aroma from the incredible herbs of Provence, famous around the world, which include basil, bay leaf, garlic, saffron, fennel or orange peel.

The most popular kinds of fish used in this traditional Provencal recipe are the scorpion fish, the conger and the sea robin, but it can also be based on other species, like monkfish, mullet, or turbot. And since shellfish is so delicious, why not include a wide variety? The bouillabaisse soup may contain mussels, spider crabs, sea urchins or small crabs. Add to these already tasteful ingredients some tomatoes, celery, potatoes and onions and there you have it: one magnificent French recipe.

Originating from the beautiful and romantic port of Marseille, Provence, the bouillabaisse recipe is one great alternative when it comes to cooking for at least ten persons, and the principle is easy: the more people, more fish; more fish, better the soup is going to be. Prepared since ancient Greek times in France, the recipe has gained more and more popularity over time, as lots of fishermen coming to Marseille tasted it. The soup’s name comes from the actual cooking process, which includes adding each ingredient at its right time frame, not all at once, and cooking them over low heat. This recipe is traditionally served with Rouille, which is a spicy mayonnaise containing stale bread, chili, olive oil and garlic.

For this recipe, which serves 6 to 8, here are the necessary ingredients:

  • 2.25kg of mixed fish
  • 15 large tiger prawns
  • 2lb of mussels
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large leek
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme, 1 sprig of fennel
  • 2 sachets of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind
  • salt and pepper

  • One recommendation for this recipe would be to use fillets for fishes, as they are a lot easier to cook. Prepare the prawns by taking their skins and tails off, and also get rid of their intestinal tract, by slicing down their backs. Put 2.5l of water to boil.
    Take a large frying pan, add the olive oil and when it’s hot, fry the onion, the garlic and the tomatoes. Add fennel, orange peels and the thyme, and cook together for another 5 minutes, then add the boiling water over the vegetable mixture, and whisk for 2 minutes. When the mixture starts thickening and becoming a sauce, add the fish in equal quantities, and season with saffron, salt and pepper.

    Keep simmering for 10 minutes, and add the prawn and mussels. When the mussels begin to open and the prawn turns pink, take out the fish and put it on a serving platter. The soup is now ready to be served, usually in a tureen, together with the Rouille mayonnaise and with some warm French bread.

    Tags: bouillabaise soup recipe, bouillabaise soup, soup recipes, soup recipe, bouillabaisse, french recipe, french recipes, french food, soup, food

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