Bliss cooks: Bliss’ bastardized bouillabaisse

posted on July 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Bliss cooks: seafood soup

I really don’t like cooking seafood at home because the smell lingers for days. But Moon has been pressing me to make him something aside from linguine with clams or whatever I toss on the grill. So, I relented and made him my “bastardized bouillabaisse.” Well, it’s not really bouillabaisse (this is the real thing), but a seafood soup I make when I am craving bouillabaisse and have a serious case of the lazies. Yeah, eating soup in the summer might be weird for some, but I love soup at any time of the year. The recipe is so simple, healthy, and only takes about an hour to prepare. Give it a try.

Recipe for Bliss’ bastardized bouillabaisse (serves 5-6 people):


Salt and pepper

2 fennel bulbs, sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

A pinch of fresh tarragon, chopped

1 1/2 cups of peeled and sliced fingerling potatoes

A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

2 glugs of olive oil

One can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes

One can/tube of tomato paste

One cup of white wine

4 cups of water (You can use fish stock for more body if you have it)

One bottle of clam juice

2 filets of cod or other white fish of your choice

2-dozen clams cleaned and scrubbed

18-20 large shrimp

6-8 scallops


Heat large stockpot and add olive oil until it starts to shimmer. Add fennel, onion, garlic and red pepper. Lower heat and cook the mixture until the onions are translucent.

Add half a can of tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and cook until the smell of the alcohol has burned off. Add the tomatoes, water/stock, clam juice and tarragon to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer for 25-30 minutes (until the flavors meld). Season the liquid with salt and pepper to taste.

At this point, you can either puree the mixture with an immersion blender or leave it chunky—I like it blended.

Add the potatoes to the liquid and cook until they are 2/3 of the way done.

Add the clams. When the clams start to open, add the remaining seafood until it is cooked to your liking. Check the seasoning again and adjust.

Serve with crusty bread, a great bottle of wine and enjoy!

*You can use whatever seafood you like and adjust the quantities based on your preferences.

**If you leave the clams in a bowl of salty water in the fridge for a couple of hours, they will naturally filter out any grit remaining in their shells.

*** If you want to get fancy, you can make some crostini, slather on some garlicky aioli/rouille and float in the soup.

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