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Although I would never go as far as to call this a bouillabaisse recipe, I can’t deny that it’s where I got the inspiration. The trouble with bouillabaisse – that classic fish soup from Marseille – is that it’s a marathon to make with no gold medal waiting for you at the end. And it so often happens when I peruse the local fish markets that I get an overwhelming craving for the taste of mixed seafood in a tomatoey base, so I had to figure out a version that I could put together in 30 minutes.

But no seafood soup is complete with a dash of aïoli, in my opinion. Its combination of creamy egg yolk, garlic and olive just adds that extra dollop of Mediterranean tang so prevalent along the southern coastlines of Spain, France and Italy – and is perfect for any season.


for the soup

1 orange

950 g hake or kingklip

3 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes

2 onions, finely chopped

3 sprigs fresh dill

5 ml turmeric

2 bay leaves

30 g parsley, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

175 ml olive oil

400 g half shell mussels (optional)

for the aïoli

3 garlic cloves

1 egg yolk

pinch of salt

150 ml olive oil

5 ml water

juice of ½ lemon


for the soup

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Peel the orange, trying to get as little of the pith as possible. Then, place the peel on a baking tray and then in the oven for about 10 minutes to dry.

Cut the fish into chunks and place it in a large saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients (leaving out the mussels) and mix through. Put a lid on the saucepan and bring to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Do not stir the soup, as the fish will break. If you are using mussels, add them now and let it cook it cook for anther 5 minutes.

for the aioli

Crush the garlic and add the egg yolks and salt to the mixing bowl of an electric beater. Pour 50 ml of the olive oil into the bowl in a thin stream while whisking continuously.

Add the water and lemon juice, continuing to whisk. Then, add the rest of the olive oil in a thin stream while whisking. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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