Bouillabaisse came from very humble beginnings but nowadays, this hardy seafood soup is served in the top restaurants in the world.
Mediterranean fishermen are thought to have come up with bouillabaisse as a way of using up the odds and ends of unsold fish.
The key, according to Pete, is to make a rich stock or base for the soup, and that means marinating the fish for 24 hours. Unless you can give it that long, it just won't have sufficient flavour. And while there's lots of debate over what should be in a bouillabaisse,
Pete says it's the characteristic flavourings such as Pernod, saffron and tomatoes that distinguish bouillabaisse from other seafood stews and soups.... Read more.
Marinate all the ingredients for the base overnight or up to two days.
Sauté all the base ingredients in a large pan with a touch of oil for a few minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes.
Add the fish stock bring to the boil and simmer for one to one-and-a-half hours.
Blend, then pass through a strainer, add salt to taste.
Pour into another pot with the celery, leek & onion and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and add the seafood (mussels then prawns and fish). This should take about two minutes.
Pour into an extra hot bowl that has some thinly sliced squid in it, a scallop and possibly an oyster or half a scampi.
Top with some toasted sourdough topped with gruyere cheese and grilled.
Garnish with chervil and cracked pepper.
Note: Bouillabaisse is traditionally served with a rouille, which is a French mayonnaise made from a base of cooked potatoes, saffron, capsicum, garlic & onion.
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