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Rich And Warming Bouillabaisse

The traditional provencal Bouillabaisse - a stew of mixed herbs, fish, and vegetables, simmered in a rich broth, is a French favorite. Long ago, the fishermen from the port city of Marseille would simmer their unsold catch in a stew spiced with fennel and saffron.

The base for the stew is easy to make by sautéing a variety of chopped vegetables in olive oil, then adding saffron, canned crushed tomatoes and fish broth. As the basis for the dish, the quality fish broth is pretty important. Thanks to Aneto Fish Broth there is no need to make the fish broth from scratch! Aneto broths are made in small-batches, using all-natural ingredients. The flavor and quality is just like homemade!

A good Bouillabaisse should feature at least a few types of fish and shellfish, but don’t let that intimidate you. To limit prep and keep our version kid-friendly, we limited our fish to cod, shrimp, clams and mussels. Additional options include other varieties of white fish, squid, lobster and scallops. Choose seafood that appeals to you and ensure its as fresh as possible.

Traditionally, bouillabaisse is served with slices of toasted baguette and a simple garlic/roasted red pepper mayonnaise sauce called a rouille. The bread is essential for mopping up every bite of that delicious broth while the rouille sauce adds a wonderful and unexpected richness to the dish. Don’t skip them!

The end result is a super-elegant and warming stew that’s really easy to love.

  • Cook Time: 1 hour

  • Total Time: 1 hour

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 6 small potatoes, chopped

  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped

  • pinch saffron

  • 4 cups fish broth such as Aneto

  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 pound fresh cod or another fish of choice, diced

  • 8 raw shrimp, shells on

  • 8 littleneck clams

  • 8 mussels

  • Garnishes and accompaniments: Chopped fennel fronds, chopped parsley, slices of toasted baguette

  • Rouille sauce


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, fennel and saffron until translucent. Add tomatoes and fish broth and bring to a boil. Cook stew until thickened, about 20 minutes. If you’re planning to serve the stew immediately, continue to step 2. If serving later, allow stew to cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. When ready too serve, bring back to a simmer over medium heat before continuing to step 2. 

  2. Lower heat to simmer and add fish, adjusting heat to keep the liquid bubbling gently. Add cod or other diced fish first. Follow with clams about 5 minutes later. Finally, add the shrimp and mussels. Cover the pot and continue simmering until clams and mussels are open and shrimp is pink. 

  3. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with toasted bread slices and rouille. 

Recipe and images:


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