Recipe | Caribbean Bouillabaise

Arielle Forbes | Dr. Foodie

What’s up Black Bottom Archives fam, this week I will be sharing with you a fresh take on how to prepare a soup other than the traditional chicken noodle. Since it is the Lenten season I have decided to go with a seafood theme. 

DISCLAIMER: some ingredients, especially spices, will be to taste - so adjust them accordingly. *This is SPICY, so please adjust the pepper as needed*



2 tbs avocado oil

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 tbs fresh dill, chopped for garnish

1 bay leaf

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 scotch bonnet pepper or habanero, sliced

1 tsp scotch bonnet pepper sauce, or some type of hell hot sauce

½ tsp crushed scotch bonnet pepper flakes, if using red pepper flakes use 1 tsp

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbs fish sauce

½ c water

¾ c of your favorite white wine

¾ c vegetable stock

1 tsp salt

½ lb mussels, scrubbed, debearded

½ lb top neck clams, or any type you can find

½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lb snapper, fileted, cut into bite size pieces

½ loaf of you favorite crusty bread, cut in thick slices


In a large deep heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add in the fennel and onion, cook until nice and caramelized, then add in the garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and fish sauce. Let that sauté for about 2 minutes before adding in the tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes, water, wine, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat back to a low simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 2 hours. The longer you allow the flavors the blend the greater the flavor profile. If you're short on time you may increase heat to medium and cook for about 1 hour. 

This makes about 2-3 servings so if you are planning for leftovers do not add in all the seafood. First add in the clams and mussels, cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until their shells start to open. Add in the shrimp and snapper, cook about 5 more minutes until the fish is flaky, the shrimp is pink and the clams and mussels are completely open. Discard any unopened clams and mussels. Season to taste. Ladle into large bowls, garnish with the dill and enjoy!

NOTE ON REHEATING: Repeat the last paragraph with the leftover soup base, adding in any unused seafood.

NOTE ON MUSSELS: Before cooking, rinse and scrub lightly. Sometimes you will see a fuzzy string hanging from the mussel; this is the beard and should be removed. There is not harm in eating the beard it just wont taste too pleasant. Discard any mussels with cracked shells. If a shell is partially open, tap on it and see if it closes within 5 minutes, if not discard it.


Please share your feedback of the recipe and also submit ideas of the types of foods you would like to see in the comments below!

Enjoy your Caribbean Bouillabaisse

Dr. Foodie