Friday, September 18, 2009




For croutons
  • 12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved

For soup
  • 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
  • Rouille


Make croutons:
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.

Make soup:

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

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (preferably from a baguette, crust removed)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Preparation

    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.

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