icon Bouillabaisse
from Antonine's Restaurant, New Orleans

Bouillabaisse is a fish soup or stew originally from Marseille. The original Bouillabaisse is a fish soup containing various kinds of fish, shellfish and vegetables, flavored with a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic, orange peel, basil, bay leaf, fennel and, most importantly, saffron. Bouillabaisse is to Provence what Gumbo is to Louisiana.

Here is a recipe from Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans. Antoine's Bouillabaisse is very close to the Marseille style, in that it is a soup, not a stew. Obviously, it is made with Louisiana seafood, including red snapper, speckled trout, shrimp, oysters and soft-shell crabs. The recipe is written by Antoine's renowned Chef Michael Regua.

For croutons:

  • 12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
Soup ingredients:
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced into a puree
  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried saffron, crushed
  • 3 ounces fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 20 slices French bread rounds, toasted with butter and garlic
  • Four 5-ounce filets of fish, brown in skillet or grill
  • 4 Buster crabs or soft-shell crabs, brown in skillet or grill
  • 20 oysters
  • 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
For fish stock:
  • 5 pounds fish heads and bones, small fish of your choice
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 3 carrots, cut in large slices
  • 1 bunch parsley, minced
  • 1/2 quart water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make croutons:

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250�F. Arrange bread slices in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and brush both sides with oil. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Rub 1 side of each toast with a cut side of garlic.

To make the soup:

  1. For the fish stock, put all ingredients in a large soup pot. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, skim the top from time to time.
  2. To prepare the Bouillabaisse, in a pot, add butter and onions and cook until transparent. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, lemon juice and fish stock. Simmer and reduce for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then add the shrimp, oysters and saffron and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Add fish and crabs. Simmer for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. To serve, in a bowl with a lip around it, place one piece of fish in the middle, put one crab on top of the fish with 4 or 5 each oysters and shrimp around the fish. Pour the broth over the fish until the bowl is filled. On the lip of the bowl, put the toasted garlic French bread rounds, about 5 pieces each. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish.
  4. YIELD: 6 - 8 servings

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Last updated: October 25, 2009