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A provincial French soup that is a real crowd-pleaser.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek, white and light green parts only, in half-moons
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • One 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/2 cup Pernod or Herbsaint
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads, crumbled between your fingers
  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 quarts Rich Shrimp Stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed and purged
  • 16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 pounds mixed firm-fleshed skinless white fish fillets, such as rockfish, cod, or halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Roasted Red Pepper Aioli, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish Warm baguettes, for serving


  • In an 8-quart or larger pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, fennel, and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the Pernod, wine, and saffron, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and stir well, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and peppercorns, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender but still firm, 20 minutes. Add the clams, mussels, and fish, cover the pot, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the clams and mussels have opened and the fish is just cooked through. Remove from the heat and discard any unopened clams or mussels.

  • Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into a heatproof bowl and briskly whisk in 3 tablespoons of the aïoli to form an emulsion. Pour the emulsified broth-aïoli mixture back into the bouillabaisse and stir to combine.

  • To serve, ladle the soup into large soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with warm baguettes and the remaining aïoli.

Recipe Details