Reading through the second volume of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I was intrigued by her recipe for bourride, a Provencal fish soup enriched with aioli, with the bouillon and fish served separately. I have learned so much from Julia Child, but my inner frugal soul can't bring myself to use cups of vegetables only to flavor a broth or marinading a roast in a bottle of wine when a cup or two will suffice. So I took the ingredients of the bourride, increased and retained the vegetables, and served it as a stew. With the fish stock prepared ahead of time, this dish can come together quickly on a weeknight. Serves 6-8.
Seafood options are limited here in the wilderness, and the firm white fish Julia recommends are non existent. I opted to bolster the softer catfish with a bag of mixed seafood.
3 T olive oil
2 cups each: thinly sliced onions, carrots, leeks
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 quarts fish or shrimp stock (can be part clam juice)
2 cups dry white vermouth
1/2 t each: fennel seed, thyme, and minced orange zest
1 T turmeric
3-4 lbs firm white fish, cubed or other seafood
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Sautee onions, carrots, and leeks until tender. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, fish stock, vermouth, and spices; bring to a simmer. Prepare aioli (recipe below). Bring soup to a boil and add fish/seafood. When fish is cooked through, whisk in half of the aioli. Serve immediately with remaining aioli with bread.
3/4 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
4 egg yolks
6 garlic cloves, minced
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.