3 pounds Yellow Finn or white new potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds skinless grouper fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with 1/4 cup of the oil. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Rub the croutons on 1 side with the halved garlic.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add the sliced garlic, onions and saffron and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions soften, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and tomato paste and cook until lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the clam juice, wine and water; bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of the potatoes and onions to a blender along with a little of the broth and puree until smooth. Stir the puree into the soup and bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper.
Just before serving, add the fish and simmer just until it flakes easily. Ladle the chowder into bowls and pass the croutons and Rouille separately.
The chowder can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to a simmer before adding the fish.