Mediterranean Fish Soup with Garlicky Rouille
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
A traditional rouille (French for "rust") is made with chiles, garlic, bread and olive oil. Here, Pascal Rigo makes it with potatoes, olive oil and plenty of garlic.
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 16 garlic cloves, 8 minced, 8 halved
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 quarts fish stock or 1 quart clam juice diluted with 1 quart water
- 12 thyme sprigs, tied in a bundle with kitchen string
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds monkfish or other meaty white fish, filmy outer skin removed, fish cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound skinless cod fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small baguette, thinly sliced
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potato cubes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the potato cooking water. Transfer the potato cubes to a medium bowl. Add the reserved potato water and the minced garlic and mash until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the olive oil in a thin stream until the rouille is creamy. Season the rouille with salt and cayenne.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the leeks, onion, celery, fennel bulb and 6 of the halved garlic cloves and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 9 minutes. Add the coarsely ground pepper, ground fennel, cumin, paprika, crumbled saffron and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine to the soup pot and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 8 minutes.
- Add the fish stock and thyme bundle to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the monkfish, cod and tuna and simmer the soup until the fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Discard the thyme bundle.
- Meanwhile, arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush the slices all over with olive oil and sprinkle on one side with the oregano. Toast the baguette slices for about 5 minutes, or until the toasts are crisp and lightly golden. Rub the toasts with the 2 remaining halved garlic cloves.
- Ladle the fish soup into deep bowls and stir some of the rouille into each. Serve the garlicky croutons, the Parmesan cheese and the remaining rouille on the side.
A big, bold, crisp white from France will stand up to the pungent garlic and acidic tomato flavors in this hearty fish soup. Or, try a Pinot Blanc from California.