Bouillabaisse with Safrante Saffron and Salt

rustic italian seafood soup

Ingredients

  • For croutons
  • 12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
  • 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • For soup
  • 1 (1- to 1 1/4 -lb) live lobster
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boiling potatoes
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fennel fronds (sometimes called anise)
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/4 tbsp Safrante Saffron
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Saffron Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 9 cups white fish stock (or store-bought)
  • 3 pounds white fish fillets (such as monkfish, turbot, red snapper, striped bass,
  • porgy, grouper, and/or cod), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound cockles or small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound cultivated mussels, scrubbed and any beards removed
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp in shells
  • Rouille

Directions

  1. For croutons: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Arrange bread slices in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and brush both sides with oil. Bake until crisp for about 30 minutes. Rub 1 side of each toast with a cut side of garlic.
  3.  For soup: Plunge lobster headfirst into a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling water, then cook, covered, 2 minutes from time lobster enters water. Transfer lobster with tongs to a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle. Discard hot water in pot. Put lobster in a shallow baking pan. Twist off claws with knuckles from body, then crack claws with a mallet or rolling pin and separate claws from knuckles. Halve body and tail lengthwise through shell with kitchen shears, then cut crosswise through shell into 2-inch pieces. Reserve lobster juices that accumulate in baking pan.
  4. Cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic in oil in cleaned 6- to 8-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Stir potatoes into tomatoes with fennel fronds, bay leaf, saffron, saffron salt, and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes.Add thicker pieces of fish and cockles to soup and simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Stir in mussels, shrimp, lobster, including juices, and remaining fish and simmer, covered, until they are just cooked through and mussels open wide, about 5 minutes.Stir 3 tablespoons broth from soup into rouille until blended.
  5. Arrange 2 croutons in each of 6 to 8 deep soup bowls. Carefully transfer fish and shellfish from soup to croutons with a slotted spoon, then ladle some broth with vegetables over seafood.
  6. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon rouille and serve remainder on the side.

This recipe inspired by Epicurious.


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