Bouillabaisse is a classic seafood stew of southern France. This vegetarian version includes the tradiitional tomatoes, onions, and saffron. The stew is often served over thickly sliced French bread, but in this recipe it's served with an oversized cheese crouton.
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
8 (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
How to Make It
Remove and discard roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks. Cut off dark leaves of leeks, leaving 6 inches of bulb; reserve dark leaves and bulbs. Remove stalks from fennel bulbs; reserve stalks and bulbs.
Combine dark leaves of leek, fennel stalks, 4 cups water, wine, and fennel seeds in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes. Drain through a colander over a large bowl; discard solids.
Slice reserved leek bulbs in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Rinse with cold water; drain. Thinly slice reserved fennel bulbs.
Add oil to pan; heat over medium heat. Add sliced leek and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, sliced fennel, 2 cups water, squash, potato, juice, saffron, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in pepper; sprinkle with parsley.
Place bread on a baking sheet; sprinkle each slice with 2 tablespoons cheese. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve with soup.