Bouillabaisse is a traditional southern French seafood stew recipe made with saffron. Saffron is the stigma or female part of the crocus flower. Rumor has it that saffron is more expensive than gold by weight. Don’t want to spend a fortune on the world’s most expensive spice? No problem – omit it or substitute turmeric to get a similar color. Fake it ’til you make it, baby! This soup / stew is light & versatile – use whatever fish / seafood that you have on hand. Add toasted or grilled bread for dippin’.
- Prep Time: 45 Minutes
- Cook Time: 35 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: French
- ~ 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel frond (leaf), finely chopped as garnish
- 1 cup onion, sliced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 9 cups fish stock
- 3 medium roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, finely diced
- 1 big pinch Saffron, crumbled
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 lb grouper / amberjack / or halibut fillets, skinned & cut into 1″ cubes
- 18 clams, washed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch black pepper
- red pepper flakes – optional as garnish
- Bring a large stockpot to medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot and add the onions & fennel. Turn the heat to low, cover and “sweat” for ~ 10 minutes. Sweating is cooking the vegetables on a low heat until they become translucent and not brown/caramelized.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant ~ 2 minutes. Add fish stock, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Crumble as best you can the saffron in your hands and add that to the mix. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered ~ 15 minutes.
- Add fish, shrimp, and clams. Add more fish stock if you’d like a thinner consistency. Bring bouillabaisse back to a boil/simmer if it went away when you added the seafood. Cover & cook on low simmer ~ 6-8 minutes or until clams have opened and fish is cooked through.
- Discard any shells that have not opened. Add salt to taste, garnish with chopped fennel fronds, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Toast some bread and get ready to dip. Soups on – happy eating! Beckie
- Clams need to be alive when cooked. Many places give you clams wrapped in a plastic bag which they should not as the little guys need to breathe to stay alive. Immediately open the bag and transfer to a bowl of ice and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Rinse & scrub clams and put them back on ice. Discard any clams that are open before you start cooking and discard any that won’t open after they’ve been cooked.
- Here’s an easy way to peel tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil and make an “X” with a knife in both ends of the tomato. Blanch (toss in boiling water) for ~ 2 minutes. Cool with running water or in an ice bath and peel back the skin.
Things In My Kitchen:
- Benriner Wide-Body Large Mandoline to slice the fennel thin.
- Shrimp Peeler & Deveiner This looks cheap but I’ve tried many and this is the best I’ve found.
- Saffron – a pretty penny for this special spice.
For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.
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Keywords: Bouillabaisse, Low Carb, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, Pescatarian, Clams, Fish, Coastal, Seafood, Saffron, Holidays, Christmas, Easter