Bouillabaisse is a fish stew that is popular in the South of France and is typically made with shellfish. I have always wanted to develop a kosher version and created a soup, rather than a stew, that is just as filling. It has all the flavors of the original as well—fennel, orange, tomato and anise—but I use several types of kosher fish to replace the shellfish and supply a variety of textures. Purple potatoes mimic the black mussels, and red peppers mimic the shrimp in the stew.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- Peel of 1 small orange, scraped off with a vegetable peeler in large pieces
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons pastis or Pernod (licorice-flavored liqueur), divided
- 3 ounces (85g) skinless flounder fillets
- 5 cups (1.2L) water
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, from peeled orange
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch (4-cm) pieces
- 4 fresh artichoke hearts cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
- 8 small purple or red potatoes, cut into quarters
- About 1 pound (450g) fish: a combination of tuna, salmon, and a white fish, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) chunks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
- Fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)
- To make the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the leeks, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and fennel, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaves, orange peel, saffron, 2 tablespoons pastis, flounder and water, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaves. Let cool for 10 minutes and then purée soup with an immersion blender for a full 3 minutes, or blend in batches in a food processor until very smooth. Add the orange juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon pastis, salt, and pepper to taste. Add cayenne. Taste to correct seasonings. May be made 2 days in advance.
- To make the garnish, preheat oven to broil. Place the bell peppers, artichokes, potato wedges and fish on a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and use your hands to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, or until peppers are black on the edges and the fish is cooked.
- To serve, reheat the soup and ladle it into bowls. Place some of the pieces of the artichoke and peppers, along with the potatoes and at least one of each type of the fish chunks on top of the soup and garnish with a frond of fennel, if you like.
- Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Jewish Kitchen © 2017 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Epicure. Photography by Bill Milne.