For such a popular and elegant dish, it’s surprising to learn that bouillabaisse was originally created from fish that no one wanted. Marseille fisherman first created it as a stew comprising of bony rockfish which couldn’t be sold to markets or restaurants. Today it’s a cornucopia of delicious seafood, and has become a classic.
- 45ml (3 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
- 3 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
- 15ml (1 tbsp) flour
- a pinch of saffron
- 2 x 410g tins whole peeled tomatoes
- 500ml (2 cups) fish or chicken stock
- a bouquet garni of thyme, parsley and 2 bay leaves
- 16 prawns, cleaned
- 24 mussels, cleaned
- 500g hake medallions
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- fresh crusty bread, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, leeks, celery and fennel, and fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, without browning the vegetables.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, allowing it to absorb excess oil. Add the saffron, tinned tomatoes, stock and bouquet garni, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the prawns, mussels and hake. Season, cover and simmer very gently until the fish is opaque and flakes easily, about 10 – 12 minutes.
Remove the bouquet garni and serve with crusty bread.