Seafood Bouillabaisse

My birthday was Monday, 33 years old. Sounds ancient to me.  My husband said I was 22 plus 11, that didn't really help.  Yes, I said husband!  Ian and I got married in July.  Now you understand why I have been so wishy washy with my blogging.  I will make no more excuses.  It has been unseasonably warm here in San Diego over the last few days, we hit 100 degrees on Saturday.  We had to go to the movies just to get some relief, and of course that led to a great dinner out at Stacked.  Really cool place where you order from your seat on an iPad. You choose everything you want on your burger, pizza, or mac 'n cheese.  The iPad sends your order to the kitchen and they bring it to you, genius!  Needless to say, with the heat these days, I did not make this soup recently.  I made it a few weeks ago, sorry Mary.  Mary, one of Ian's co-workers, gave him some halibut and salmon she caught while in Alaska. She asked that I make a recipe using the fish.  I just can't bring myself to mask the great flavor of salmon with a bunch of accouterments, but since halibut really has no flavor, I didn't feel bad adding it to this soup. Traditional bouillabaisse contains saffron.  Saffron, the stigma of the crocus flower, is one of, if not the, most expensive ingredient (per ounce), in the world.  I went to the store with the intent on buying some saffron for this dish, but when I saw the amount I needed was going to cost me $23, I decided against it.  In my mind, it is not a necessary part of this dish, and it is flavorful enough you won't even miss it.

Notes: You can substitute any type of seafood in this recipe, clams, mussels, shrimp, fish, any combination.  The cooking time of each one varies, so that will alter the time you want to put them in the broth.  The fish should be cut in 1 inch chunks, as uniform as possible.  Also, I used jarred clam juice.  Be mindful of the sodium content when buying clam juice, I used Crown Prince brand from Sprouts.  You could also make your own seafood stock, but I just didn't have the time.

Seafood Bouillabaisse
(Print Recipe)
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. Fish, chunked, I used Halibut but any firm white fish
1 Fennel bulb, sliced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Onion, diced
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Thyme
2 jars (8 oz.) Clam juice
1 can Diced tomatoes
Coconut oil

In a soup pot, melt a dab of coconut oil over medium heat.  Saute onions, garlic, and fennel until soft.  Add bay leaves, thyme and tomatoes, simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add clam juice, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Remove lid and add your shrimp and fish to the broth, pushing them under the surface.  Simmer until shrimp are opaque and fish is cooked through, roughly 2-4 minutes (it does not take long!).  Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with chopped fennel fronds and enjoy!