It seems like a festive time to prepare a big pot of bouillabaisse, the popular Mediterranean fish-based soup. Given the variety of fish, shellfish and stock that can successfully be used for preparing bouillabaisse, rather than choose from the many and varied recipes available, I opted to wing it and make my own rendition, (didn't jot down the amounts) here's what I did ...
In a large pot, I sauteed a generous amount of sliced leeks in a pool of olive oil, added garlic, tomatoes, (I used the tomatoes I'd preserved from the summer's harvest) diced potatoes and clam juice. I seasoned the mixture with salt, pepper and fresh minced parsley and cooked it until the potatoes were tender. I added cooked shrimp, lobster, cod and crab to the mixture.
When it comes time to serve, I'll ladle hot bouillabaisse over hard-toasted French bread rounds and top with a few steamed mussels and clams.
It's customary to serve bouillabaisse with rouille ... bread drenched in a liquid, (my rendition used olive oil) and combined with a spicy seasoning (I used cayenne pepper) salt and loads of garlic. It's mashed or pounded into a smooth paste. It's spicy, so best to serve buffet-style.