Bouillebaise… Using Watson Family Fish Stew base…


This is a simple way to cook the completely delicious fish soup of Marseille. This soup is historically one that was cooked by the local fishermen from left over or small fish and was cooked on the boats or beaches of the region. It was and is a peasant dish that simply works.

There are two steps, one is the creation of the richly flavoured broth and this is done with fish bones, whole fish that are cooked in a stock. This is where the Watson Family Fish Stew base comes in, just add the whole jar and follow with two jars of fish stock (or just water if fish stock is not possible) and add the fish bones, fish heads, fish off cuts (don’t add any gut or gut contents) and small whole fish. This should be cooked slowly for 60 minutes to extract the maximum flavour, Strain it through a colander or a conical sieve, just make sure no fish bones get through.

With the now rich stock, you can use this as the base for the final soup. It must be said that in France the soup would be served separately from the solids and this is your choice, I prefer it to be all in one. For an elegant stew, add some saffron.

The selection of fish is important, there is no more refinement, so select filleted fish, choose a selection of say three different sorts ranging from oily fleshed fish to lighter. I like some calamari and octopus, this must be put in at the very end and given just a minute or two in the boiling broth. I like some prawns but prefer them to be skinned except the tail piece. I also like some scallops, mussels in the shell and maybe a handful of pippies, these all should go in just towards the end of the cooking time, but ahead of the calamari. It is meant to be a mixed fish stew.

This soup must be served with some crusty bread , completely essential.



~ by peterwatson on April 30, 2014.

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