California Bouillabaisse

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 6
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1/2 cup oil
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 large onion -- sliced
2 small leeks -- thinly sliced
1 piece bay leaf
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 cups fish stock -- =or= half water -- and half bottled clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel --=or=
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 medium lobster tails -- split through -- shells
1 pound red snapper -- cut in chunks
1 pound halibut or sea bass chunks
12 medium shrimp
6 medium Dungeness crab legs
6 medium clams
6 medium oysters
6 medium mussels
1 loaf crusty bread -- (optional)

Preparation / Directions:

Heat oil in large pot. Add garlic, onion, leeks and bay leaf and cook until onion is tender but not browned. Add tomatoes, stock, wine, fennel, saffron, salt, pepper and parsley. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Add lobster, snapper and halibut and cook 10 minutes. Rinse shrimp and crab and scrub clams, oysters and mussels. Add shellfish to pot and cook 5 minutes or until shells open. Ladle into large soup plates and serve with crusty bread, if desired.

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