Active Time
1 HR
Total Time
1 HR 20 MIN
Serves : 4

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. 

How to Make It

Step 1    Make the seafood broth

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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5    Make the bouillabaisse

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

Step 6    

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.

Step 7    

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.

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