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Image / Editorial

This vegetarian bouillabaisse is the best way to start 2019


by Meg Walker
02nd Jan 2019
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Inspired by the Provençal classic, this is a vegan version of a dish that immediately conjures up images of lazy sunny afternoons and splashing about in the sea in the south of France. As we’re not using fish, we’ve given it a connection to the sea by using sea vegetable salad; you could use dried nori seaweed to get the same effect, but the nori doesn’t need to be soaked, it can just be shredded and added in at the end. The garlicky rouille is the icing on the cake and is a handy recipe in itself if you’re ever looking for something delicious to go with bread. We just wouldn’t recommend it if you’re about to go on a date!

Cannellini Bean, Fennel and Seaweed Bouillabaisse with Garlic and Saffron Rouille

Serves 2-4

Vegan without rouille
Wheat-free and gluten-free without bread or with an alternative

Ingredients
pinch of saffron
250ml white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp tomato purée
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 plum tomatoes
5 sprigs thyme, leaves plucked
500ml vegetable stock
400g (1 tin) cannellini beans
5g dried sea vegetable salad, soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1 wholewheat sourdough loaf, sliced and toasted, to serve

For the rouille
pinch of saffron
2 tsp white wine
4 egg yolks
1 garlic clove, crushed
1½ tsp smoked paprika
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper
300ml olive oil

Method
Begin by making the bouillabaisse. Place the saffron in the white wine and leave to soak. Put the olive oil, onion, celery and garlic in a large pan or Dutch oven over a medium heat and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato purée, fennel and red pepper and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the wine and saffron, add the bay leaf and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves and pour in the vegetable stock. Stir, then cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the rouille. Soak the saffron in the wine for a couple of minutes. Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl, add the garlic, paprika, chilli, lemon juice, saffron and wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk vigorously for a couple of minutes. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil a little at a time, whisking continuously with the other hand until the oil is fully incorporated. This does take a bit of time so brace yourself for a little arm workout! Whisk in 2 tsp of warm water and place to one side.

Back at the bouillabaisse, stir in the cannellini beans and seaweed and gently bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately in bowls. Squeeze a lemon wedge over each one and enjoy with toasted sourdough smothered with, or dipped in, rouille.

 

Extracted from Fresh Veggie Kitchen by David and Charlotte Bailey (Pavilion Books, approx €15). Photograph by Haarala Hamilton.

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