This hearty and flavorful soup will transport you to southern France with your first spoonful. A fragrant, saffron and fennel scented soup has a tomato base and luminous chunks of tender white fish.
I adore making homemade soups and stews! Gathering the freshest ingredients and creating a comforting pot of goodness is heartwarming and rewarding.
Packed with fresh, off-the boat fish – the fennel and laced tomato base makes this soup (or is it a stew?) especially tasty.
It differs from a bouillabaisse as it highlights white fish filets – blackfish, sea bass and monkfish with no shellfish. Choose any very fresh filets you like, I think a mix of fish adds complexity. Ask your fishmonger for the bones, and make a simple fish stock, or you can substitute a good clam juice from a bottle. The soup contains vegetable stock, as I think tones down the fishiness – the soup is a little more subtle. With the addition of some sliced fingerling potatoes, the soup is filling – and very low-fat.
Flavors that make the soup sing are saffron and orange. I have added a nice strip of orange rind – add orange zest if desired to accent that zesty flavor.
As far as health benefits, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to lower the risks of chronic diseases and increase life expectancy. The Mediterranean lifestyle is about eating whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables – plus a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and limiting heavily processed foods and saturated fats.
This French vibrantly colored classic is easy to prepare and makes a terrific dinner for a crowd. With crusty, garlicky baguette slices and a big green salad, it’s a memorable meal.
Top with an assertive Rouille Sauce (garlicky mayonnaise) – a sauce that originated in the Mediterranean and is traditionally served with seafood soups and stews. The soup has very little fat, so a dollop of this luxurious sauce is heavenly!