Bouillabaisse, the Soup of Gold From Marseilles

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What is Marseilles' fish soup made of?

Bouillabaisse, the Soup of Gold From Marseilles

Bouillabaisse (from bouillir, to boil and abaisser, to reduce - together meaning 'to reduce by evaporation') is a traditional French fish stew or thick soup originating from Marseilles. The most distinguishing characteristic of a bouillabaisse is the unique flavoring derived from saffron, fennel seeds, and orange zest. A famous French food writer, Curnonsky, called bouillabaisse soupe d'or, 'soup of gold.' The preparation time is 1.5 to 2 hours and instructions are very complex . Cooking require special kitchen utensils but here's the list of ingredients to give you an idea of the dish.

3 red mullet, descaled
450g/1lb of monkfish fillet
1 x 900g/2lb sea bass, descaled
12 raw large tiger prawns
5 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (reserve the tops)
675g/1½lb tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 tsp tomato purée
1 small bunch freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 strips orange peel
500ml/1pt fish stock
2L/3½pt bottle mineral water
1 tsp saffron stamens
5-10g/1-2tsp salt
2 tbsp pernod, or similar
36 mussels



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