Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s bouillabaisse starts with a quick-cooking, but deeply flavored, seafood broth. Layering a base of aromatics with fresh snapper, scallops, shrimp, and a mix of Pernod and dry white wine creates a long-simmered flavor in under an hour. Be sure to use shell-on shrimp; those shells add flavor and body to the stock. 

Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


Seafood Broth (Yield: 5 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed

  • 1 onion, cut into small cubes

  • 1 carrot, cut into small cubes

  • 1 celery stalk, cut into small cubes

  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into small cubes, fronds reserved for garnish

  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 4 ounces tomato paste

  • 1 tomato, cut into small cubes

  • 5 to 6 shell-on raw large shrimp (about 6 ounces), roughly chopped

  • 1 (7-ounce) skinless red snapper fillet (or any white fish), roughly chopped

  • 1 sea scallop, roughly chopped

  • 3 thyme sprigs

  • 1 pinch piment d’Espelette

  • 1/3 cup Pernod

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 tablespoons saffron

  • 4 cups water


  • Zest of 1/2 an orange

  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon

  • 2 (7-ounce) skinless red snapper fillets

  • 4 sea scallops (about 5 ounces)

  • 8 shell-on raw large shrimp (about 8 ounces)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

Additional Ingredients

  • Chopped parsley

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Toasted baguette slices

  • Rouille


Make the seafood broth

  1. Melt butter in a large enameled cast-iron casserole over medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, fennel, leeks, and garlic. Cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste; stir until well combined.

  2. Add tomato, shrimp, snapper, and scallop; stir to combine. If ingredients seem dry, add 1 tablespoon butter. Add thyme and piment d’Espelette. Stir in Pernod, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add white wine; bring to a boil. Stir in saffron. Add 4 cups water, and return a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes.

  3. Working in batches if necessary, transfer seafood broth to a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece of lid to allow steam to escape. Place a clean kitchen towel over opening. Process until smooth.

  4. Pour seafood broth through a fine wire-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

Make the bouillabaisse

  1. Combine seafood broth, orange zest, and lemon zest in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Bring to a simmer over low.

  2. Add red snapper fillets; cook until just cooked through, about 7 minutes. After 2 minutes, add scallops and shrimp; cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat; season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide bouillabaisse among 4 serving bowls. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds, chopped parsley, and extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with toasted baguette slices and rouille.

    Chloe Crespi Photography
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