Bouillabaisse is a type of stew made with fish and shellfish. It traces its origins to the Provence region of France. This preparation is usually made in such a way that it can be eaten as a full meal in itself without any side dish except bread. The stew is made with delicious ingredients that make it aromatic and flavorsome. Different herbs and light spices are added to give it its distinctive taste.
This dish is usually made with a combination of different types of seafood. They are put in at different times according to the time it takes each to cook. This is to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. To make the soup heartier, most recipes also include a few mild flavored vegetables as well. Onions and celery usually form the base of the stew while vegetables like potatoes and turnips are added to soak up the flavors.
Bouillabaisse is traditionally served with bread spread with a simple flavored mayonnaise. This spread is called rouille. It can be flavored with any thing like garlic, basil, mint, parsley, orange zest etc.
Here is a simple recipe for a light summer tomato bouillabaisse with basil rouille.
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 main dish servings
For The Stew
1 lb small tomatoes, chopped into chunks
3 lbs mixed seafood of your choice (shrimps, mussels, lobster etc)
1 stalk of celery, sliced
½ cup white wine
1 cup fish stock
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 head of fresh fennel, washed and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For The Basil Rouille
A large handful of fresh basil leaves, pureed
½ cup mayonnaise (store bought or homemade)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Slices of baguette or sourdough bread
Method For Preparation
1. Make the basil rouille first so that there is time to chill it. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the garlic, basil and lemon juice to it. Mix everything properly. Add the olive oil in a thin stream while whisking continuously. Season generously with salt and pepper and place in the fridge to chill.
Photo Credit: Whatscook.in/summer-tomato-bouillabaisse-with-basil-pouille-recipe
2. Take a large stew pot and place it on a medium heat. Add the olive oil to it and heat for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Then throw in the celery and fennel and cook till the vegetables are slightly soft. Put the tomatoes into the pan and cook them on a low heat for about ten minutes.
3. Do not cover the pan. The tomatoes should turn mushy. Pour in the wine, fish stock and 3 cups of plain water. Let the liquid come to a boil before adding the seafood. Season with salt and pepper. Let the stew simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Pour into individual soup bowls and sprinkle parsley on each. Serve hot with slices of bread spread with basil rouille.
Photo Credit: Stylenectar.com/stylenectar/2011/06/provençal-tomato-bouillabaisse-with-basil-rouille-.html