TGIF: A Day for Bouillabaisse

TGIF: There’s Goodness In Fish.

This morning, I was up early for a doctor’s appointment. Perhaps inspired by the lack of oceanic delicacies on our menu as of late, Peter and I stopped by City Fish to pick up some fish. I’d been wanting to make Bouillabaisse since having it when we were in Bonaire. Of course, the authentic version has a rouille, unusual types of fish, and years of tradition, but that wasn’t going to stop me from making my scoundrel-ized version.

THIH Scoundrelized Bouillabaisse
Serves 4

1.5 lbs clams (we used cherrystone)
1/2 lb bay scallops
1/2 lb small shrimp
1/2 lb fish of choice (we used a mix of haddock, cod, and sea bass)

1/4 cup white wine (we used Noilly Prat)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup parsley, torn
Pinch each of dried thyme and tarragon

Soak clams for 20 minutes in cold water to loosen sand and dirt. Rinse and set the clams to the side while you boil an inch of water in a large pot. When boiling, add clams and steam until all the shells are open (about five minutes). Drain clams so that water drains into another pot. Discard any clams which haven’t opened.

Put the clam water back on medium heat and add the tomato paste and parsley. Stir.

Add fish, shrimp, and scallops. Poach until cooked through.

Add clams, thyme, and tarragon. Serve hot.

I also added a pinch of saffron to the broth (that’s about as authentic as I got).

We’ve had the saffron around for a while, so I figured it was time to use some. But, it ended up being a waste because I couldn’t taste it above the stronger herbs! Oh well, lesson learned.

I normally don’t like broth-based soups because they don’t fill me up, but this one definitely filled me up! The broth was rich and seafood-y, and the seafood itself was delicious. The key is to use the clam water as the soup base. I’m definitely making this soup again.

I also made some biscuits to go with our Bouillabaisse. I was originally going to use my standardized recipe (light, with whole wheat flour), but Peter requested a new Peter Reinhart biscuit from this book.

Warning: These biscuits are NOT for the faint of heart. The butter content alone makes these biscuits an occasional treat.

The recipe itself is pretty simple, and similar to most other biscuit recipes: flour, butter, leavening, salt, and milk. I grated the frozen butter in our food processor.

That ain't cheese.

Working in the butter:

Cutting out the biscuits:

My diamond biscuits, ready to go into the oven:

Fresh out of the oven:

Look at that flake!

Peter Reinhart may not be looking out for our waistlines, but he sure knows how to make a good biscuit! These biscuits are great for a treat, but I woudn’t make them every day. I made sure to enjoy every bite of this particular treat!

Happy weekend wishes from Maddles and Bon! 🙂

Do you like broth-based soups? Or, do you prefer creamier soups?

Final note: Enter Simply Savor‘s giveaway for FOUR jars of Maranatha Nut Butter!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better prize!

Edited to add: I included this recipe in Christina’s first Friday Firsts at Dinner at Christina’s. Check out all the great firsts on her blog!

Friday Firsts /


  1. I absolutely love boulliabase. I feel like the seafood makes it hearty enough to make it filling, though broth based. As far as other broth based soups, I LOOOOVE sopa de ajo blanco. Had some tonight, but only as part of a meal. It is garlicky good, but too thin for a meal in itself.
    Also just in case you ever wanted a good wine pairing, Travessia Rose is amazing with boulliabase, and a MA winemaker 🙂

    1. Thanks for the wine pairing suggestion — I’m looking to learn more about wine 🙂 I’ve never tried that soup, but if it’s garlicky, it’s got to be good!

  2. This soup looks fantastic. I love scallops, and really any type of fish! I normally don’t like broth soups unless they have a lot of substance to them, like this soup. I prefer creamy pureed soups (like butternut squash or sweet potato!) but I really love soup so I will take what I can get.

    The biscuits sound like the perfect treat, and great for dipping!

    1. Usually I like creamier soups better, too (LOVE butternut squash soup!), but this soup was so satisfying. Yum!

  3. Aww thank you so much for linking this up and for the mention!! I’ve never made bouillabaisse either! OR cooked w/ saffron! I should, though! My dad always makes this awesome saffron rice I love.

    1. Saffron rice sounds SO good!

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