(from koshka’s recipe box)

Source: From the book ‘La Cuisiniere Provencale’, Noevelle Edition, J.B.Reboul

Serves 4 people

Categories: Provencale, fish, soup


  • 3 whole, very fresh fish, preferable one Loup de Mer (sea bass), one bauroue (monkfish, or substitute a red snapper, some shark, or even some lobster tail) and one merlan (whiting, ocean perch or cod), fillets removed and reserved, bones and head chopped ro
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • some fresh thyme
  • several springs parsley
  • a piece of celery
  • a bay leaf
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 cups champagne or white wine
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • juice of one lemon, or to taste
  • olive oil – at least one cup
  • 1-2 baguettes, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced fine
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thinly into juliennes, or chopped
  • the peel from 1-2 oranges (depends on size of orange), sliced into thin juliennes
  • several sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Additional parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Make the fish broth:

  2. Rinse the fish bones and heads under cold water. In a heavy pot, sauté the onion, carrots and shallot in the olive oil. Deglaze the pan with the champagne or white wine. Add the fish bones and heads. Sautee for a few minutes. Add just enough water to cover the bones after you have packed them down a bit. Add the bouquet gari herbs, tied together or loose, and bring the broth just to the boiling point. Reduce heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, skimming any scum that rises to the surface. Strain the broth through a cheese cloth, pressing on the solids, reserving the broth and discarding the rest.

  3. Make the aioli:

  4. In a mortar and pedestal, reduce the garlic and some salt to a paste. Place in a small bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks. Add some lemon juice – not all of it – whisking. In a slow stream, whisk in the olive oil. Add some additional lemon juice if the mixture gets too thick. Continue to add olive oil in a stream until you have a mayonnaise consistence. Taste, and add additional salt and/or lemon juice as necessary. Place in refrigerator and reserve. Note that it will increase in garlic flavor while it sits.

  5. Make the toasts:

  6. Slice the baguettes on a diagonal into 1 inch slices, brush both sides with olive oil, and toast under the broiler until both sides are browned. Reserve.

  7. Make the fish:

  8. In a large, heavy skillet, add the onion, fennel, thyme, orange peel, bay leaves, and most of the fish broth. Season with lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Gently place the fish fillets into the broth in a single layer. Cover loosely, and poach at a simmer – do not boil – for 12 minutes. Remove the fish fillets to a heated plate, keeping them as intact as possible, spoon a little of the broth over them, cover loosely, keep warm and reserve.

  9. Thicken the broth:

  10. Turn off the heat on the broth in the pan. Whisk several tablespoons of the hot broth into the aioli. Continue to add broth to the aioli, whisking, until you have added 1-2 cups of liquid. Carefully whisk the tempered aioli mixture back into the hot broth in the pan. Stirring constantly, heat the broth over low heat until the broth begins to thicken. Slow and gentle is the best method to avoid scrambling the egg yolks. When the broth has thickened a bit, and just coats the back of a wooden spoon, remove the pan from the heat.

  11. Plate it:

  12. Place several slices of the toast in the bottom of each soup bowl. Place a few pieces of each kind of fish fillet onto the pieces of toast. Spoon the hot broth over the fish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately! Enjoy!

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