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Pumpkin Bouillabaisse

James Carrier
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
Notes: To cut pumpkin into cubes, halve vertically and scrape out seeds. Cut halves into 1-inch-wide wedges. Peel each slice, then cut flesh into cubes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fennel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled, halved, and thinly slivered lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fat-skinned chicken broth
  • 1 bottle(8 oz.) clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur (optional)
  • 8 cups cubed (1/2-in.) pumpkin, such as Sugar Pie or Baby Bear (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound halibut, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Rouille (recipe follows)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 289
  • caloriesfromfat 44 %
  • protein 20 g
  • fat 14 g
  • satfat 2.1 g
  • carbohydrate 23 g
  • fiber 2.9 g
  • sodium 569 mg
  • cholesterol 26 mg

How to Make It

  1. Trim off and discard stalks, root ends, and bruised areas from fennel. Chop and reserve green tops. Rinse heads; cut in half lengthwise, then slice.

  2. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; add fennel, onion, and garlic and stir often until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add wine; cook until most of liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add broth, clam juice, Pernod (if using), pumpkin, saffron, bay leaf, salt, and pepper; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer just until pumpkin is tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Gently stir in fish; simmer until opaque in center (cut to test), 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Ladle into bowls and top with 1 tablespoon rouille and fennel tops.

  4. Rouille: In a bowl, stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup.