This traditional bouillabaisse recipe is one of the great French recipes.
The list of ingredients may look long, but it is quite simple to make and tastes absolutely fabulous.
We don’t cook with fennel that much in North America, but it is often used in European cuisines, like French and Italian.
This recipe is gluten free if you omit the French bread. Simply substitute a gluten free version or omit the bread altogether.
Note: Making this bouillabaisse recipe the original way is absolutely fabulous, but it can be expensive. To lessen the cost a bit, you may want to use just shrimp, mussels and whatever white fish is reasonable.
This is a very healthy dinner recipe and a great break from serving meat. I love recipes that are really a meal in a bowl and this is a perfect one. Just add some wonderful crusty bread (whole wheat is best if you can get it) and a salad. Voila. A delicious, healthy dinner, perfect for serving guests.
French Bouillabaisse Recipe
- 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
- 4 leeks, white portions only, finely cut into julienned strips
- 4 tomatoes, medium size, skinned and diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh fennel, finely chopped
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon saffron
- 2 bay leaves, pulverized
- 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 pounds in total of very fresh fish and seafood, diced in 1 inch pieces, in combination: red snapper, halibut, pompano, sea perch, scallops; also 1 inch pieces of well-scrubbed lobster, whole shrimp, clams and mussels - all in the shell
- 2 1/2 cups fish stock, or water
- 8 - 3/4 inch thick slices of French bread
- garlic butter
- Heat the oil in a large casserole. Combine onions, leeks, tomatoes, garlic, fennel, saffron, bay leaves, orange rind, celery seed, parsley and pepper and cook in the heated oil until the vegetables are transparent.
- Add the fish and cover with the stock or water. Keep the heat high and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
- Dry the bread in the oven and brush it with garlic butter.
Put a slice of bread in the bottom of each of 8 hot bowls. When the bouillabaisse is ready, arrange some of each kind of fish on and around the bread. You may remove the lobsters from the shell and remove the upper shells from the clams and mussels. Then pour the hot broth into the bowls and serve at once.
Or you may strain the broth onto the bread and serve the seafood on a separate platter.
Or serve the bouillabaisse in bowls accompanied by the toasted bread.
If you need this recipe to be gluten free, obviously don’t serve it on the bread.
This seafood stew is an excellent recipe for those with diabetes. It’s healthy and low in carbs. Just eat it without too much bread.