Bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise

Francine Lizotte


Rich, flavorful and visually appealing, this French fish stew is a great dish to serve for special occasions!


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

6-8 servings
30 Min
1 Hr 20 Min
Stove Top


  • 1/3 c
    olive oil
  • 3 1/2 c
    fennel, fronds reserved for garnish, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 c
    leeks, washed and sliced
  • 1 1/2 c
    red onions, chopped
  • 5 large
    cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 c
    plum tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp
    dried orange peel (substitute a fresh orange strip)
  • 3-4 sprig(s)
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp
    saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp
    cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 c
    dry white wine, such as chardonnay
  • 6 c
    boiling water
  • ·
    fish heads, carcass and/or shrimp shells
  • ·
    handful fresh parsley
  • 1 large
    bay leaf
  • 2 tsp
    ground himalayan sea salt, or more to taste
  • ·
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste (i always use mixed peppercorns)
  • 3 lb
    mix skinless lean white fish such as sea bream, tilapia, cod, turbot, etc.
  • 3 lb
    mix shellfish such as lobster, scampi, prawns, mussels, clams, and scallops

How to Make Bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and when hot, throw in fennel, leeks, onions and garlic; stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, orange peels, thyme, dill, saffron and cayenne pepper; stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in white wine and scrape the bottom of the pot; cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in boiling water and add fish heads/carcass/shrimp shells, parsley, bay leaf, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; bring to a full boil; cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove fish heads, bones and shells; discard. Remove sprigs of thyme and discard as well. Using a hand blender, purée the mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve over a large pot
  4. Bring heat to medium-high and when broth starts to boil, add firmer fish first before adding the others. When they are all cooked, transfer them to a serving plate. Add shellfish starting with the ones that take the longest to cook. Transfer shellfish to the serving plate along with the fish and transfer broth to a soup tureen.
  5. In shallow bowls, place a mix of fish and shellfish, ladle the broth and serve with crusty bread. To add a nice finishing touch, place fennel fronds on top. Make 6-8 servings.
  6. NOTE: If not using fresh fish, use 4 cups clam juice and 6 cups water BUT no salt.
  7. To view this recipe on YouTube, click on this link >>>>

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