Quick Bouillabaisse with Saffron Aioli

Quick Bouillabaisse with Saffron Aioli

Prep Time


Cook Time



Quick Bouillabaisse with Saffron Aioli

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking.com.

Add a variety of fish and shellfish to this bouillabaisse, such as shrimp and mussels, for a more traditional stew.

Nutrition Facts

Serves 10

Facts per Serving

Calories: 442 Fat, Total: 22g Carbohydrates, Total: 28g
Cholesterol: 102mg Sodium: 919mg Protein: 33g
Fiber: 5g % Cal. from Fat: 45% % Cal. from Carbs: 25%


  • 4 pounds cod or monkfish, on the bone if possible
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • Bouquet garni: with fine kitchen twine, tie together 2 sprigs parsley, 1 celery top with leaves, 2 bay leaves, and 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Pernod or other licorice-flavored liqueur
  • 28-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika (pimenton) or 1 teaspoon Californian or Hungarian paprika
  • 4 fennel bulbs, trimmed (green tops chopped and reserved for serving), quartered, cored, and cut into wedges about 1 inch in width
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup Saffron Aioli
  • Tiny pinch saffron threads, about 20 strands
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 (1/2-inch thick) slices country-style bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted for 15 minutes in a 350°F oven, until golden


  • 1 Cut the fish into approximately 2-inch pieces, reserving the bones for the stock. Set the pieces of fish aside, covered and refrigerated, until ready to serve. (If you can't find fish on the bone, ask the fishmonger for 8 ounces of assorted fish bones, preferably not salmon bones. If no other bones are available, use a small, whole fish, chopped, for the stock.)
  • 2 Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Wait 10 seconds, then add the fish bones, garlic cloves, fennel seeds, bouquet garni, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the mixture without letting it brown, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Pernod, canned tomatoes with all the their juices, paprika, and 3 quarts of water.
  • 3 Bring the mixture to a boil, partially cover the pan and regulate the heat to maintain a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Retrieve and discard the fish bones and the bouquet garni, then use an immersion blender to puree the liquid. Don't worry if it is not perfectly smooth. (Or, pass the liquid through the coarse disk of a food mill and return to the pan.)
  • 4 Add the fennel wedges, cover the pan, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and paprika as necessary. At this point, the dish may be set aside for several hours, or cooled to room temperature and refrigerated overnight, before finishing the dish.
  • 5 Bring the broth back to a gentle simmer and add the fish pieces. Simmer the soup gently for 5 minutes, to cook the fish. Ladle into wide, warmed bowls, distributing the fish, fennel wedges, and broth evenly.
  • 6 TO SERVE: Place a nice dollop of saffron aioli in the center of each bowl and scatter a little orange zest and chopped fennel greens over the top. Serve at once, with a slice of toasted bread on the side.
  • 8 In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in the warm water for 20 minutes. In a deep bowl, combine the egg yolks, garlic, and salt, and whisk to combine. Very slowly, dribble in the olive oil, whisking all the time. You can add the oil a bit more quickly after about half has been absorbed, but go very slowly at first or the mayonnaise may "break."
  • 9 Add the saffron and its soaking water, then use the lemon juice to swirl around in the saffron-soaking bowl to catch any remaining saffron essence. Whisk the lemon juice into the aioli. Add a few grinds of pepper. The aioli should be made at least 4 hours before using, and will keep, refrigerated, for up to 48 hours.


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