A speedy, one-pot bouillabaisse

Enjoy a wonderfully flavourful seafood soup with Alex Mackay's elegant version of a classic French dish
By Alex Mackay
A speedy, one-pot bouillabaisse
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 small onion, chopped into 3cm dice
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small bulb fennel, chopped into 3cm dice
  • 2 large plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 6 small new potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 good pinch of strands saffron
  • 3 strips of orange zest
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fillets of red mullet, skin on
  • 2 small fillets of sea bream, or seabass, skin on
  • 12 live mussels
  • 4 large raw tiger prawns, in their shells halved lengthways
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper

For the rouille:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 50 ml non-scented oil, (groundnut or vegetable)
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tbsp tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt


1. Put the onion, garlic, fennel, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, saffron, orange zest and olive oil into a large, shallow, heavy-based saucepan.

2. Sweat over a low heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.

3. Add in enough water to just cover the vegetables, bring to the boil and cook briskly for around 5 minutes or until the potatoes are almost cooked through.

4. Add the mussels and tiger prawns, cover and simmer for 1 minute.

5. Put the fillets of red mullet and sea bream on top, cover, turn the heat right down and cook very gently for 4-5 minutes.

6. While the fish is cooking make the rouille. Whisk together the egg yolk and mustard with a little salt in a bowl.

7. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in first the groundnut oil and then the olive oil until you have a thick mayonnaise. Stir in the tomato paste and cayenne pepper. Add salt to taste and set aside.

8. Once the red mullet and sea bream is cooked, lift it onto a warmed serving plate. Stir the rouille into the remaining shellfish mixture, season well with salt and cayenne and serve with the fish.

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