Fast Bouillabaisse


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Home Made

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2011

  • About

Look, I understand that real bisque is much tastier, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or you don’t feel like making it. This recipe provides a solution. Made in no time at all and, honestly, almost as good!


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fennel root, cleaned and diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small tin tomato purée (170 g/6 oz)
  • a few strands saffron
  • 100 ml (approx. 3 fl oz/½ cup) Pernod (cognac is also good, for that matter)
  • 1 litre (4 cups) fish stock (home-made is obviously always best, but as this soup is called ‘fast’, bought stock is fine)
  • 1 kg (2 lb) fish (any white fish will do)
  • 1 handful of mussels, cockles and prawns (ask the fishmonger for a mixture)

And also

  • 1 baguette (preferably a little stale)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp harissa or otherwise
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup) and a pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste


Braise the onion, garlic and fennel briefly in the olive oil until the onion turns glassy. Add the tomato puree and saffron. Keep stirring until the tomato puree begins giving off a sweetish aroma. Add the Pernod and the fish stock and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Five minutes before the end add the fish and cook in the soup until done.

In the meantime, make the ‘rouille’ and the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Cut the baguette into thin slices, arrange on a baking sheet. Bake the croutons until golden brown, (approx. 5–6 minutes). Turn them over halfway through the process.

Grind approx. 6 croutons in the food processor. Fold in the garlic, mayonnaise and harissa and blend into a smooth sauce. First transfer the fish from the soup into 4 bowls and then cover with the soup. Serve with the rouille and the croutons.