Notes: This is one component of Oahu Bouillabaisse. Make broth up to 3 days in advance (you can freeze to store longer). It's the base for the bouillabaisse but makes a fine soup on its own.
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped fresh fennel
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon madras curry powder
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons Pernod (optional)
4 cups chicken or fish broth
1 bottle (8 oz.) clam juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon canned tomato paste
1/16 teaspoon powdered saffron (optional)
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine oil, celery, onion, fennel, and bell pepper. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is limp, 8 to 10 minutes. Add curry powder and stir until mixture is quite fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add brandy, Pernod, broth, clam juice, wine, tomato paste, and saffron. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Whirl mixture, a portion at a time, in a blender until smooth. If desired, pour broth through a fine strainer into a bowl, rubbing with a spatula; discard any residue. If needed, add water to make 6 1/2 cups. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Use in bouillabaisse or ladle hot broth into bowls.