Bouillabaisse is a Pretty Way to Say Seafood Chowder

Bouillabaisse is what came to mind after I made a lobster stock with the shells from our New Year’s Day dinner. This is a great winter warmer, when you’re craving seafood but also something hearty. The rouille spread on the French bread makes all the difference!



This is basically aioli with saffron. Most recipes add roasted red pepper as well, which I didn’t have but feel free to add it to your own.

Add 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp. of strong mustard, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1 clove of raw (or 4 cloves roasted) garlic, and a big pinch of saffron to a food processor and process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour half a cup of good olive oil with half a cup of regular vegetable oil mixed together into the spout. The mixture will emulsify and become think and creamy. (If it doesn’t seem like enough for the processor, the recipe easily doubles.)


3-4 cups fish or lobster stock

1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes

1-1.5 lbs mussels, clams, white fish, squid, etc.

4 large diver scallops

1 small lobster, cooked, shelled, and cut into chunks

A healthy pinch of saffron

2 small carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium shallots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 small fennel bulb, chopped, fronds chopped and reserved for garnish

Handful of chopped parsley for garnish

Olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed is best)

A few glugs of cooking sherry (or Pernod if you happen to have it)

Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

A healthy pinch of saffron

1 fresh baguette, sliced at an angle

Heat a good amount of olive oil over medium heat in a big pot and add all the vegetables except the garlic and cook until they start to soften.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute and then add the lobster stock, tomatoes, and sherry or Pernod.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, letting the liquid reduce to a stew-like consistency rather than a soupy one.
Now add your seafood: first the fish, wait a few minutes, then the mussels and clams, let them open up and then stir in the lobster chunks and scallops. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Slather slices of fresh baguette bread with the rouille.

Ladle the bouillabaisse into bowls (making sure each gets a scallop) and sprinkle the chopped fennel fronds and parsley on top. Set slices of the bread into the soup, which will mingle the richness of the rouille with the broth.

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2 Responses to Bouillabaisse is a Pretty Way to Say Seafood Chowder

  1. Mmm, this certainly seems like a great cold weather dish!:-)


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