Grocery Store Bouillabaisse

Did you know that the classic Provencal fish soup, Bouillabaisse, is a Greek recipe? Seriously! Not seriously. Actually, ancient Greeks did set up housekeeping in France, in an area that we now know as  Marseille. Because they were fishermen, whatever they caught that they couldn't sell became dinner, hence a Greek soup recipe called Kakavia, which legend tells us is what evolved into what we know as Bouillabaisse today. While I'm not sure of the origin of that word in Greek, I have had my share of Greek fish soup, which in my family we have always called Psarosoupa, fish soup. Most of these soup recipes use readily available ingredients and the area's traditional seasonings and vegetables. So, while the origin of Bouillabaisse is not crystal clear, and while there are many variations of the fish and seafood used, my version is definitely a no-fuss meal prepared in less than an hour. The hardest thing about my recipe is remembering hour to spell BOUILLABAISSE!

Traditionally, the French serve the delicious broth first and the fish and seafood once the broth has been consumed. Most people (and most recipes) in the United States serve it up together like a brothy stew. My recipe takes advantage of ingredients that can be sourced in almost any grocery store. Here's the recipe. You can find it here in printable format.

Finished with chopped parsley and fennel fronds.
I use ouzo, Italian parsley and the fennel fronds to finish my version of Bouillabaisse, but you can skip the ouzo. Saffron is a traditional ingredient, but it can also be omitted. 


Popular Posts