Serve this classic Provençal seafood dish with its traditional accompaniment of toasted baguette slices topped with rouille, a garlic-pepper sauce related to aioli. To make a quick version of rouille, mix 1 tsp. minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. hot paprika into 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise, then season to taste with salt.
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
- 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
- Large pinch of red pepper flakes, plus more, to taste
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced plum tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups fish stock or vegetable broth
- 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 3/4 lb. cod, ling cod, rockfish, halibut or other lean white-fleshed fish fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
- 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepare the soup base
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Crumble in the saffron, add the fennel seeds and the pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stock and 1/4 tsp. of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the onion is tender, about 30 minutes.
Season the seafood
Place the fish in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and the herbes de Provence. Add the shrimp and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and toss to coat.
Cook the seafood
Taste the soup base and adjust the seasoning with salt and red pepper flakes. Add the fish and shrimp and cook over medium-low heat until the shrimp is opaque throughout and the fish begins to flake apart, about 5 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and serve. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).