My Recipe Box

Summer Bouillabaisse with Smoky Rouille


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 87

Ripe, gorgeous summer vegetables are a treat for anyone who loves to cook: the only challenge is finding the time to cook them all. This smoky bouillabaisse helps you make the most of two summer favorites you’ll find in abundance right now: tomatoes and corn. If you’re not growing your own, this recipe is worth the trip to the farmers’ market tonight.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped garlic, plus 1/2 tsp. finely grated or minced garlic
  • 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, cored and large diced (about 4-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika (Spanish pimentón)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • One 14-oz. can low-salt chicken broth (1-3/4 cups)
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 lb. halibut, cod, or other firm white fish, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 medium ears)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

In a 5- to 6-qt. soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and wine, increase the heat to medium high (if necessary), and simmer vigorously until the tomatoes are broken down and the mixture is slightly soupy, about 15 min.

While the tomatoes are cooking, whisk the 1/2 tsp. grated garlic, paprika, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Whisk in a little olive oil and enough cool water to make a creamy, pourable sauce. Taste and add salt if you like.

Add the broth and saffron to the tomato mixture and simmer to slightly reduce the broth and concentrate the flavors, 5 min. Add the fish and simmer until it’s opaque throughout, 3 to 5 min. more. Stir in the corn. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve in large bowls with a big drizzle of the sauce on top and a generous sprinkle of parsley, if using.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make this soup ahead except for adding the fish, which you should do at the last minute.


To dress this up for entertaining, add 1/2 lb. peeled medium or large shrimp and 1/2 lb. Manila clams or mussels. Wash the shellfish well before adding and use only the tightly closed shells. Simmer until the shells open.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Caramelized Plums over vanilla ice cream or on shortcakes for dessert.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 490, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 230, Saturated Fat (g): 3.5, Protein (g): 30, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9, Carbohydrates (mg): 29, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2.5, Sodium (g): 480, Cholesterol (g): 40, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Thanks to all the rave reviews I decided to risk making this stew for the first time when we had company coming. Everyone loved it, and so easy! You might want to make enough for second helpings.

There is a reason that every cook gave this recipe 5 stars. Easy to make and excellent taste!

Double Yummy! Just had the leftovers from last night, and it's hard to believe but it is even better! I used fresh halibut and shrimp (couldn't find any clams). I also added cayenne pepper to taste to the bouillabaisse (we like the added heat). Absolutely do not substitute Hungarian Paprika for the Smoked Paprika! The smokey flavor is a big part of what makes this dish so delish!

Absolutely delicious. We followed the recipe with only one adjustment: we used hot smoked paprika and found that the heat gave the rouille a little kick that really added to the depth of the dish. A great use for fresh sweet corn that is plentiful in the summer months. We actually thought the saffron was a great addition; we felt it made the broth much more complex. Fantastic and we will repeat this one often.

I made this dish a week ago. I had 6 people for dinner and stretched the dish by adding a tomato(Roma), a little more broth,3 diced potatoes,1/2 # clams, and used fennel for seasoning rather than saffron. It was such a quick recipe to make, delicious, and healthy tasting. I was told by one of the diners that I could start a restaurant based on this one recipe. I am one of those who can always seem to find something wrong with my cooking but this one turned out perfect!

Delicious! I will be adding this immediately to our normal dinner schedule, as it is really really fast and easy to make and incredible tasting! I used 1 lb of fresh cod and 1/2 lb of shrimp in the recipe and simmerred until just done - 3 minutes. It is really important not to overdo the fish here. Also, and please don't yell, at me, but we already had good quality canned tomatoes and frozen corn on hand and I used them instead of fresh. I simmered, in the second step, 32 oz of canned whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes chopped with their juice for about 5-8 minutes until they were 'soupy'. I added the corn, still frozen, before the fish, and simmered for about 5 minutes. The result was delicious, and I look forward to making this in the winter, also, when fresh tomatoes and corn aren't available. I wasn't a huge fan of the rouille; I think next time I will make it all from scratch instead of using mayonnaise. We served this with fresh, crusty bread to soak up the broth. One thing; this recipe makes WAY more than four servings; It could have easily fed six to eight. Enjoy!

The Rouille absolutely makes this wonderful summer dish!

This recipe is proof that healthy meals can be both soul satisfying and elegant. We added the cod at the last minute as instructed so it had a nice texture and fresh taste. The Spanish smoked paprika was new to me, it has a rich flavor without heat.(I found pimenton ahumado $3.49 for 2.64 oz from Chiquilin at my local Italian grocery store.) Different from Hungarian paprika. The saffron seemed superfluous as I could not taste it. Lyalya

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