Fish & Seafood/ French recipes

Classic Bouillabaise with Rouille and Garlic Croutons

23 August 2020

Bouillabaisse with rouille and croutons

First dish I made with the shrimp stock, so super yummy. I added cod, prawns and crayfish but you can choose whatever seafood and fish you prefer!

I always thought it would be a difficult recipe but it just needs a great stock to start with and some patience. The veggies needs to simmer for apx. 45 minutes before adding the seafood and fish, but in the meantime you can make the rouille and croutons. Rouille is a kind of mayonnaise with roasted pepper and saffron.

Classic Bouillabaise with Rouille and Garlic Croutons

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Dinner Mediterranean, French
By Saffron Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 Cooking Time: 1 hour (incl. 45 minutes stewing) Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • Soup
  • 2l fish stock, store bought or homemade
  • 500 g mixed firm white fish (like cod, gurnard, monkfish)
  • 8 large gamba's (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 white onions, chopped into thin rings
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (hard center removed and fronds set apart)
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced, the white & light green part (tip: save the dark green part in the freezer for later use in a stock)
  • 4 tomatoes, crown removed and cubed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 pinches of saffron, soaked in a splash of warm water
  • 1 small can tomato puree (80 g)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 splash of pastis (optional, but oh so good!)
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Grated parmesan
  • Rouille
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 to 3 slices of white bread (with the crust removed)
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Garlic croutons
  • 1 Baguette
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled




Start by heating up the stock and clean and slice all the veggies as mentioned above.


Place a heavy based soup pan on a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.


Start by sautéing the onion rings and the garlic until fragrant and translucent, ± 2 min, keep stirring.


Add the sliced fennel and sauté for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.


Add the leek and sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften.


Add the soaked saffron, this will give a lovely refined flavour and a deep yellow colour.


Add the tomatoes and stir everything together.


Add the tomato purée, stir through and let it all sauté for another 3-4 minutes. This will take away the acidity of the tomatoes. Make it sure it doesn't burn, as burned tomatoes will add a bitter taste.


Now sprinkle the flour over the stewing vegetables and stir through so the flower is covering all the ingredients, let the flour cook for a minute, be careful not to burn it.


Now is the time to deglaze the pan with the pastis if you're using it (if not you can jump straight to the next point). Let it stew for a ±2 minutes on high heat so all the alcohol evaporates, while stirring the pot and scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan.


Add the fish stock (remember to scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan, if you haven't already done it in the previous point).


Add a few sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves.


Let everything stew and bubble on low heat for 45 minutes.



Heat the hot water, vinegar, and saffron until you have a very yellow liquid.


In a large bowl add the white bread pieces and pour over the saffron mixture, mix well.


Place the bread mixture into a food processor and add the garlic, egg yolks, and chili powder.


Mix it for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides so everything mixes well/


Keep blending while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. The sauce will thicken into a glossy mayonnaise consistency.


Taste and season and then refrigerate until using.

Garlic croutons


About 15 minutes before serving preheat the oven to 200°C.


Slice the baguette into 1 cm thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle them all with olive oil and season with pepper and salt.


Bake for ± 6-8 minutes, or until starting to turn a lovely golden colour.


If you're not a huge van of garlic, you can serve them like this, maybe with an extra drizzle of olive oil over the top. But if you're a huge garlic fan like me then don't forget the following step.


While the croutons are still hot, take a whole garlic clove and rub it over the hot bread, the garlic will pretty much melt and scrape away. It doesn't look like much but I promise you this is enough 😉

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