La Bourride


serves 4 to 6
2 lb (1 kg) firm white fish (cod, brill, turbot or monkfish, etc., or a combination of these), filleted and skinned
2 leeks, sliced into thin rounds
1 onion, finely sliced
1 lb (500g) potatoes, peeled and sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
4 cups (32 fl oz) 900 ml fish stock
3/4 cup (150 ml) 5 fl oz dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
4 - 6 slices French bread, toasted or fried in olive oil with garlic
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley to garnish
aioli (prepared)

to make aioli (makes about 1 1/4 cups (10 fl oz) 300 ml)

6 cloves garlic (or to taste)
1 pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml good quality olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper


to make aioli

1. Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt until thoroughly mashed - use a pestle and mortar, or the end of a wooden rolling pin or back of a wooden spoon in a sturdy bowl.
2. Add the egg yolks and beat with a wooden spoon.
3. Now add the oil drop by drop, beating all the time, and continue until the sauce thickens and all the oil is incorporated. 4. When the mixture is smooth and creamy, beat in a little fresh lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

to make la bourride

1. Wash the fish fillets, pat them dry with kitchen paper and cut them into large pieces.

2. Put the leeks, onion and potatoes into a large shallow poaching pan with the garlic (if using), arrange the pieces of fish on top and pour in the fish stock and wine.

3. Poach gently (do not boil) until the fish is just cooked.

4. Using a perforated spoon, transfer the pieces of fish to a warmed serving dish and keep warm.

5. Bring the remaining stock up to boiling point and boil hard to reduce it to half of its original volume.

6. During this time, remove the potatoes when they are tender and keep warm with the fish.

7. Put 10 fl oz (300 ml) of the Aioli into a saucepan and warm over a gentle heat.

8. Strain the reduced stock, then slowly pour it into the Aioli, whisking or beating all the time.

9. Gently bring the soup up to just under simmering point do not boil. It should be thick, pale and creamy.

10. Check the seasoning and add a little pepper if necessary.

11. Now put a slice of toasted or fried bread into each large shallow soup bowl and arrange the pieces of fish and slices of potato on top.

12. Pour the soup all around the fish. Dollop a teaspoon of the remaining Ai'oli on top of the fish and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

13. Serve straight away, with the rest of the Aioli in a separate dish.

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