Bourride

An unusual fish soup, delicately flavoured with herbs and wine and enriched with a pungent garlic mayonnaise, Bourride (boo-reed) is frequently served as a main course in Provence with only fresh fruit and cheese to follow.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced

2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, scraped and sliced

2 or 3 cod or haddock heads

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon dried fennel

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon dried tarragon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 pints water

10 fl. oz. white wine

4 egg yolks

2 lb. haddock or cod fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces 4 tablespoons aioli

Heat the oil in a large, flameproof cas-serole, or soup pot, over moderate heat. Add the onion, leeks, tomatoes and carrot. Cover the casserole and reduce the heat to moderately low. Cook the vegetables for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they have softened.

Add the fish heads, wine vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, fennel, salt, tarragon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the water and the wine. Raise the heat and bring the liquid slowly to the boil. Reduce the heat to low again and gently simmer the broth for 30 to 40 minutes or until it has reduced slightly.

Strain the broth into a measuring jug. Discard the fish heads, vegetables and flavourings. Measure 3 pints of the broth

(this is ample for 6 people) and return it to the casserole.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using a fork or a wire whisk, beat the egg yolks together with the remaining

1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 5 fluid ounces of the hot, strained broth.

Stir the egg yolk mixture into the broth and return the casserole to mod-

erate heat. Add the pieces of fish and stir the soup gently. Cook the soup for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish is still

firm but cooked and the soup is quite hot and has thickened slightly. Do not let the soup boil.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Stir in the aioli. Serve the soup at once. If you like, serve a sauceboat of aioli separately.

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