Julia Child’s Simple French Bouillabaisse Recipe – Family Style Food

Joy of cooking bouillabaisse recipe

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This traditional Provencal fish stew is one of the easiest and most satisfying meals you can make, and it has the most delicious aroma. In just one hour, you can enjoy a hearty bowl of Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse!

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Julia Child’s classic bouillabaisse recipe is a type of French seafood stew that combines fish, seafood and vegetables in a tasty broth. In addition to cooking her recipes, it’s easy to get caught up in everything about Julia Child.

Everything from her cautious, exuberant voice to her healthy physical lust for her husband.

Thinking about Julia Child made me take my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking off the shelf for a little while sitting.


wanted to make a recipe from the book, but I had a hard time conjuring up that spark of hunger that usually makes me run to the kitchen to cook. I think it’s because some of the recipes in the book are stuck in a time warp.

Julia Child

A classic French seafood soup recipe


Flipping through the book, you’ll find recipes that speak to another time, before ingredients like crème fraîche became a staple at the grocery store


Things like chicken aspic on a plate, garnished with pepper slices in jars and crepes stuffed with boiled and canned pineapple.

Based on those kinds of recipes, you can draw a picture of the 1960s American housewife Julia was writing for.

Imagine a perfectly coiffed woman about to host a dinner party in her sprawling suburban home, wearing a bulletproof bra, a Jackie O Chanel suit and smoking a long cigarette, like a character from the TV show Mad Men.

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Julia’s precise instructions for making homemade mayonnaise, perfect rolled tortillas, and swollen soufflecles are what make Mastering the Art of French Cooking standalone on the cookbook shelf.

But among the cream-colored pages of Julia’s tome are a multitude of other classic recipes and techniques that will never go out of style or fail to please. A perfect example is Julia’s version of a traditional bouillabaisse recipe.

Julia Child

What is bouillabaisse made of?

Bouillabaisse is a Provencal fish soup with a tomato base. While there is no strict formula, this hearty seafood soup can contain a wide variety of different types of seafood and seafood.

  • Mussels
  • Clams Shrimp
  • Scaly white fish: Any of these or a combination: cod, red snapper, sea bass, haddock, porgy, red mullet or grouper.

In general, Julia Child emphasizes the importance of making simple bouillabaisse.

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>How to make bouillabaisse


  1. Make a broth, fortified with lots of seafood shells and garnishes (available for a few dollars a pound at your fish counter).
  2. Add aromatic seasonings, including the typical ingredients of Provencal France: garlic cloves, saffron threads, fennel bulb, olive oil and tomatoes.
  3. Simmer the broth for about 30 minutes before adding the seafood, which will cook in a matter of minutes.

What to serve with bouillabaisse:

This seafood soup is exceptional as a meal on its own. Or serve along with this crispy and refreshing fresh fennel salad for a perfect pairing.

The best thing about bouillabaisse is that there is something in the pot for everyone on the table (picky kids among them): delicious broth and different types of fish and seafood to choose from.

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Honestly, all you really need to serve with bouillabaisse is plenty of crispy baguette slices to absorb every drop in the bowl.

Don’t forget the tasty roasted red pepper rouille sauce that you can spread on toast, it’s so delicious!

Tips and makeup

  • for a more filling soup, ladle over cooked broken noodles, orzo or other form of small pasta
  • .

  • The broth can be prepared up to one day in advance. Store in the refrigerator and simmer. Add the seafood and cook as in Step 3.

More recipes inspired by

Julia Child:

  • Parchment Roasted cod with fennel, thyme and tomatoes
  • Coq Au Vin classic Herbs
  • of Provence Chicken paste salad with Dijon Dressing
  • French potato cake with leeks and gruyere

Simplicity and authentic taste is what Julia Child’s bouillabaisse recipe is all about. It also defines how I love to cook.

Julia says it best


This is the kind of food I had fallen in love with: no modern, enhanced fantasies, just something very good to eat… The ingredients have been carefully selected and prepared beautifully and knowingly. Or, in the words of the famous gastronome Curnonsky, “Food that tastes like what it is.” (from My Life in France)

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