- 12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 lb crab meat
- 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
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon 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
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F.
Arrange bread slices in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and brush both sides with oil. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Rub 1 side of each toast with a cut side of garlic.
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, sea 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, crab 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.
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.
Top each serving with 1 teaspoon rouille and serve remainder on the side.
Ingredients for Rouille
Pour water over bread crumbs in a bowl. Mash garlic to a paste with sea salt and cayenne using a mortar and pestle. Add moistened bread crumbs and mash into garlic paste.
Add oil in a slow stream, mashing and stirring vigorously with pestle until combined well.