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Bouillabaisse Toulonnaise

Originally cooked by fishermen using unwanted fish from their catch, this traditional Provençal fish stew is served with a creamy, saffron-scented rouille.




  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4½ oz (125 g) fennel, sliced
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T tarragon, chopped
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Fish heads, bones and offcuts
  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 T tomato purée
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 T butter


  • 3 egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Pinch saffron
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6¾ fl oz (200 ml) olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


  • 7 oz (200 g) salmon
  • 7 oz (200 g) pollock
  • 7 oz (200 g) monkfish
  • 1 lb (450 g) mussels, scrubbed, beards removed


Broth: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook for 3 to 4 minutes without it coloring, then add the red onion, sea salt, tarragon and black pepper. Add the fish bones and offcuts and the tomatoes, then cover with water. Bring to a simmer, skimming off any residue that rises to the surface. Add the tomato purée and saffron and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about 1½ hours, or until it has reduced by about a third. Sieve the broth, pressing down the contents of the sieve with a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible, then add the lemon juice and whisk in the butter. Check the seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until needed.

Rouille: Whisk the egg yolks with the seasoning, lemon juice, saffron and cayenne pepper. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking continuously, then stir in the garlic. Add a little warm water if it is too thick. Set aside until needed.

Fish: Bring the reserved broth up to a simmer, then add all the fish. Poach until just tender, adding the firmest fillets first.


Remove fish from broth and place on a serving platter. Ladle broth over fish; serve with rouille on the side and some garlic croutons.