Vegetarian Bouillabaisse

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We did a little survey on instagram a few days ago where we asked what type of recipes you would like to see more of here on the blog. Lots of fun and creative suggestions popped up. The sum of it was pretty clear though. There seem to be a never-ending need for Quick Family Dinners, Budget Recipes, Healthy Breakfasts and more Vegan dishes. We will certainly take these topics in mind for future updates. If you have more suggestions, go ahead and leave a comment below. To kick things off we have looked at what we have done in the past years and have chosen 3 of our favourite recipes in each category. If you haven’t tried these recipes already, they might be a good starting point.

Quick Family Dinners

Budget

Healthy Breakfasts

Vegan Dinners

Savoury Snacks also seem to be a thing that we need to make more of so that will come up soon.

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Today’s recipe is a vegetarian version of the French fish stew Bouillabaisse and ironically it doesn’t seem to be even close to the topics that you are asking to see more of. It is not super quick, more like an hour or so. Saffron and white wine are on the ingredient list, so not a budget recipe (although all other ingredients are quite cheap). And to be honest, the kids didn’t like it very much. Elsa picked out the carrots, parsnip and the white beans and left the rest untouched! It is vegan though, if you skip the aioli.

But if we look past the fact that this apparently is an entirely unwanted recipe from your side, we do have some good news: You are going to love it anyway! And so will the guests that you invite over for a vegetarian dinner this weekend. You see, this French stew is filled with flavour from white wine, fennel, garlic and saffron, sweetness from the slow cooked tomatoes, carrots and parsnips, and it gets a mild taste of the ocean from a sheet of nori algae (the ones you use for rolling sushi).

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We like to keep the vegetables chunky to replace the fish and seafood. We also roast fennel slices for a fancier presentation. Our idea was that they would look like two prawns in the middle of the plate, but, ehm, I don’t know, they just look like roasted fennel to me. They do taste good, almost crusty on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside. We serve it with homemade aioli but you can also use store-bought, to save time (or simply mix mayonnaise with garlic).

If anyone is reading this from Marseille, we are sorry if we have insulted your traditional recipe. I am sure we have made a bunch of wrongdoings (for example excluding the main ingredient), but we did it with good intentions and love in our hearts.

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Vegetarian Bouillabaisse
Serves 4-6

This takes around one hour to make. You can skip the roasted fennel on top if you are in a hurry and don’t care about fancy presentations. If you prepare it in the morning, it will taste even more flavourful when you serve it in the evening (or the day after). And if you are making it for kids, you can replace the wine with more vegetable stock.

2 tbsp butter, coconut oil or olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp anise seeds
2 yellow onions, peeled, one finely chopped and the other coarsely
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced in thick coins
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced in thick coins
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
250 ml / 1 cup dry white wine
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
2 x 400 g / 14 oz tins whole tomatoes (or crushed)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 g saffron powder

1 sheet nori, crushed or finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup large white beans

To serve
1 fennel bulb
fresh thyme and dill
zest from 1/2 orange (optional)
4 pieces of sourdough bread

Aioli
2 egg yolks*

1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (+ more for seasoning)
125 ml / 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil (choose a quality oil, stored in glass bottles)
125 ml / 1/2 cup cold pressed rapeseed oil (choose a quality oil, stored in glass bottles)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
sea salt and pepper, to taste 

Place a large sauce pan on medium heat. Melt butter or coconut oil and then add fennel seeds and anise seeds, onions and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes or until the onions have softened. Add carrots, parsnips and the chopped fennel and after a couple of minutes the white wine. Let simmer for five minutes and then add potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable stock, saffron, nori and thyme. Give it a good stir and then leave to simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, set the oven to 435°F/225°C. Slice the remaining fennel in thick pieces lengthwise, drizzle with oil and salt and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft and slightly burnt at the edges.

When the cooked vegetables are soft and the stew tastes flavourful, add beans and let simmer for a few more minutes before serving.

Making Aioli:

Making Aioli: Whisk egg yolks* and lemon juice (or vinegar) in metal bowl to blend well. Whisking constantly (by hand with a balloon whisk) while drizzling in the oil very slowly, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened. Stir in finely chopped garlic and season the aioli with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Serve the soup in wide bowls, top with roasted fennel, dill, a dollop of aioli, orange zest and a piece of sourdough bread.

*Raw egg is not recommended for infants, elderly, pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems. Be sure to use pasteurized egg yolk instead.

56 Comments

  • Edith Marie
    Delicious slow cooking... it reminds me of my French mother's dishes but without the fish! Perfect to prepare whilst listening to the radio...
  • Oh wow! This looks so but so delicious. Perfect food to serve for friends at a dinner party. It looks comforting, homemade but also sophisticated,very french inspired indeed.I love stews because they take their time cooking and give you enough time to set the table, clean the kitchen up and just worry about having a wonderful time during dinner. thanks guys.
  • Sara
    Lovely! Will defenitely try this! On the contrary to what many seems to be searching for when it comes to reciepies, I've been looking for vegetarian dishes that takes some time and some effort to cook. I haven't had much success though in my search, until now it seems :)
  • I will go ahead and forgive you for the "unwanted" recipe, because this looks divine, and perfect for the winter and my brand new le creuset :)
  • Lovely soup and gorgeous colors. -sara http://almostpaleokitchen.blogspot.com/
  • What a great veg remake on a French classic. I love the creativity that went into this, including the fennel topping. ;-) It's the perfect winter dinner party dish.
  • Valeria
    Do you add the saffron and potato with the vegetables in the pot?
  • Birgit
    Where does the saffron come in? You said before it is on the ingredients-list, but is nowhere to be found in the recipe. Best, Birgit
  • Kajsa
    Jisses! Det är som att ni läst mina tankar. Det är precis det här jag saknar. Vad kul! Har redan bjudit in gäster att smaka. Tack!
  • Elin
    This looks so tasty, can't wait to try it! As for blog suggestions, I agree with the other commenter about the "Essential technique" category, I'd love to learn new basic recipes aside from nut butter and nut milk. And of course, since I'm a student, more budget friendly recipes! Much love!
  • Valeria
    It looks so beautiful and delicious. So excited to see you guys trying French style recipes, I think if I had a request it would be more of your take on south western european dishes (i.e. Portugal, Italy, France, Spain). Can't wait to give it a try. I've been attempting to get my bf to like fennel which he repeatedly refuses because of the anise like taste. I've gone all routes (raw and on it's own how my nonna used to have it, the usual orange and fennel salad, your braised fennel dish which is to date one of my favourites) with no luck. With him being French, I hope a different take on a typical French dish will finally do the trick! I think the link to the Jamie Oliver video you mention is missing though. Would you be so kind to point us in the right direction? Thanks again for the constant inspiration! :D
    • Thank you! Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypQuZX5MVsI Good luck with the fennel;)
  • you two, thanks for another great idea! you once asked us for basic recipes/techniques that we wished to see on your blog. many readers (incl. myself) suggested cool stuff like dried vegetable broth and coconut milk yoghurt. i was really eager to see those recipes on your blog, but they never turned up. :( (i'm still in search of a recipe for coconut milk yoghurt that actually works)
    • Sarah
      I've been doing this coconut yoghurt for a while now, and it works really great: http://www.kraut-kopf.de/recipe/kokos-kefir-joghurt/
    • Hi Saskia! Thank you for your comment! We have been experimenting with a coconut milk yogurt but the truth is that we haven't come up with a recipe that is good enough yet and we only publish recipes we believe in 100%. This past year, many different coconut yogurt brands have been popping up in health food stores, they all taste better than what we have achieved, (although very expensive). We haven't made a recipe for dried vegetable broth bit quite good affordable brands can be bought in most supermarkets. Happy cooking Luise
  • oh this look so, so beautiful! Love the addition of nori! Need to try that more as I've seen it in a few recipes.
  • This looks amazing. I love bouillabaisse, but every time I eat it I start to think about our dwindling fish population and am filled with guilt. This sounds like a great way to eat something I love without the guilt.
  • You guys, this looks amazing! Perfect for this type of weather.
  • Could it get any better??! I'm loving the sounds of this dish, and those sexy/moody photos (it feels like you guys have escaped to some provincial french farm house).
  • oh wow!! the pictures are amazing!! Really artistic!!Cant wait to try the recipe:) Love, Merin http://meiasos.blogspot.co.uk

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