Project Description

Easy Bouillabaisse

Easy Bouillabaisse makes this very special French soup or casserole quicker and simpler to make while still delicious.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 5 minutes plus 10 minutes during cooking time
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes


2 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced, tops reserved
1 tbsp (20ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 long thin strip orange rind
4 cups (1L) fish stock
700g tomato passata
1kg ready-prepared mussels
3 leather jackets, filleted (6 fillets)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Crusty bread, to serve
Aioli (garlic mayonnaise) to serve


  1. Cut green tops and roots off leeks, halve lengthwise and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove all the grit. Cut into 1cm slices.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add leek and fennel and cook until soft, around 5 – 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Increase heat and add stock, tomatoes, orange rind and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. Add mussels. Break fish in half along the natural central line and as soon as some mussels start to open, after a couple of minutes, add fish and push gently under the bubbling liquid. Cook only until just opaque, a minute or two then ladle into deep bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and reserved fennel tops and serve immediately with crusty bread and aioli for dolloping.

Lyndey’s Note: Leather jackets, now known as Ocean jackets are an under-utilised species. Always sold skinned and headless they are fantastic value. Ask your fishmonger to fillet them for you. Fish stock is widely available in seafood retailers, supermarkets and delis. Tomato passata is a flavoursome substitute for fresh tomatoes, especially as the weather gets cooler. Add prawns to this recipe if you like.

Related Recipe: Another easy version of a French classic Easy Cassoulet