Bouillabaisse with Aioli

(it's French soup!)

Bouillabaisse is a French soup. I know, fancy! That is the extent of my knowledge about Bouillabaisse. It is very, very good though. I’m just saying that there might be stuff in the recipe that is deeply disturbing for those of you with a profound historical and cultural connection to Bouillabaisse. If that is the case, I hope you will be able to enjoy it anyway. Hopefully it won’t be like for those dudes who thought that the new(ish) Ghostbusters movie ruined their childhood because it cast women. But maybe it will? Maybe someone’s childhood will be ruined because I am suggesting you to put some crushed tomatoes in a Bouillabaisse? Food and words are powerful things.

A little bit about the actual recipe. Three things are vitally important. 1) Do your own broth. 2) Don’t overcook the fish. I will get to how how to avoid overcooking in the instructions. And 3) … ok, two things are vitally important.

The base of the soup is as it is with most soups; a great broth. I really like shellfish broth, so I often use one made from shrimp shells, but any seafood-based broth is good. Besides the broth, what gives the soup its character is the mix of fennel, orange, saffron and white wine. I also think tomato goes really well with all this which is why I put some crushed tomatoes and tomato puré in mine.

It is really quite spectacular. I don’t mean my version but just… in general. Bouillabaisse is quite spectacular. To the instructions!

Created with Sketch. Roughly 2-3 hours Created with Sketch. 5


  • For the soup
  • 50 gceleriac
  • 120 gfennel
  • 150 gonion (one large onion)
  • 60 gcarrot (one or two depending on the size)
  • 200 gcrushed tomatoes
  • 300 gwhite wine
  • 25 gbutter
  • 0.5 gsaffron
  • 10 gtomato puré (a spoon full)
  • The juice from one orange (should be 0.5-1 dl juice)
  • The peel from 1/2 an orange
  • 300 gcod
  • 300 gsalmon
  • 200 gshrimp
  • For the aioli
  • 2 egg yolks (30-40g)
  • 200 grapeseed oil (2 dl)
  • 10 gmustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Some vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
  • For the broth
  • The shells from the shrimp
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 carrots
  • Some celeriac
  • Some fennel
  • A couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste


So. Lot’s of ingredients but I promise: not complicated at all.

  1. Brine the fish. This is very optional but I really think brining is great for fish. What’s brining? Well it’s simply putting something in salty water. This gives more juice to the fish (or meat) and a nice natural saltiness. Dissolve 50-60 g of salt in 1000g (1L) of water and let it cool down (use 1/3 or something of the water to dissolve the salt by heating it on the stove, then mix that with cold water). Cut the fish into pieces (approximately 3 x 3 cm) and put it into the brine. Put it in the fridge.
  2. Put the oven on 250 C and peel the shrimp (save the peeled shrimp for later). Spread the shells across an oven plate and put it into the oven for about 10 minutes. The shells should become white, not burnt.
  3. Bring two (2) liters of water to a boil. Cut the veggies into pieces and put them in. Add the grilled shrimp shells.
  4. Put the bay leaves in with som pepper and let the broth simmer for at least an hour, more if you have the time. It should reduce to half the initial volume. Salt to taste at the end (if the broth is nice and salty in the beginning it will be horribly over-salty when reduced).
  5. Pour the broth through a sift to remove the veggies, pepper corns (if you’re using that) and bay leaves.
  6. When the broth is finished, chop the celeriac, carrot and fennel into small cubes and finely chop the onion (note: not the cooked vegetables from the broth).
  7. Put the butter  and some oil in a big pot on medium/ high heat. Fry the chopped up vegetables for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, put in half of the saffron, all of the tomato puré (10 g/ a spoon full), the peel from half an orange and stir.
  8. Pour in the broth, the wine, the juice from the orange, the crushed tomatoes (200 g) and bring to a simmer.
  9. Put in the other half of the saffron and add salt and pepper to taste. This is the finished product so taste and adjust a lot of times. Use salt/ sugar/ vinegar to get the balance exactly as you want it.
  10. Now turn the stove off, put a lid on the soup and let it rest on the (now off) stove plate.
  11. Make the Aioli. Aioli is mayonnaise with some garlic so it’s real easy (here’s our recipe for plain ol’ mayo including video). Mix the egg yolks with the mustard, some vinegar, salt, pepper and one finely chopped (or pressed) clove of garlic.
  12. Whisk intensely (or use an electric mixer, immersion blender or other appropriate machine) while carefully (ok, not that carefully) pouring the oil into the mix. As always, balance with salt/ pepper/ vinegar or lemon, at the end. If you’re only whisking by hand, the Aioli will be a bit “fluffier”or less dense, than if you do it with a kitchen mixer or immersion blender. I like the consistency you get with an immersion blender.
  13. Now take the fish (in brine) out of the fridge and sift away the brine.
  14. Put the fish and peeled shrimp into the soup and let that rest for about 5 minutes. The after heat from the soup will cook the fish perfectly. Just to be completely clear: you DO NOT need to cook the fish in boiling/ simmering soup, the after heat is enough. The soup is still 80-90 C and fish like cod and salmon is best when around 50 C in the center of the pieces.
  15. Serve with a generous dollop of the Aioli, some bread and a bit of fresh herbs.

I really love this dish. And it’s really nice if you’re hosting a dinner party. If you prepare the broth, the fish (by putting it in brine, which you can do the night before if you want) and Aioli beforehand, you can really do this from start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

Bon appétit!

The Fresh Fish Soup

(did I mention it's fresh?)

I started to experiment with this recipe last summer, after I spent a weekend in the wilderness of Stockholm’s archipelago, a couple of hours north of the city. It was a nice sunny day, we had a car, we were young, carefree, and most of all we had been driving around aimlessly looking for a place to eat some lunch because we were very very very hungry. Suddenly on our right, a hand-written sign informed us of the existence of a café some hundred meters into the middle of the nothingness; yes, Sweden’s countryside is always like this, a never ending beautiful continuing sequence of fields, cafès, forests, water, cafès, loppis (flee markets), cafès…  that goes on for kilometers and kilometers of virtually uninhabitated land – let alone a few cows and a couple of sheep. Anyway the cafè was nice, a bit hippy for my taste (but hey, this is north Stockholm we’re talking about) with a nice garden, flowers, of course organic stuff everywhere, and long story short I ended up ordering fish soup; I must say I was very sceptic, but I was wrong. The soup was very good and completely different from any fish soup I previously had (which was of course a lot more on the mediterranean side of flavours). A couple of ingredients I wouldn’t have associated with fish at all in my previous life, namely lemon and sour-cream, but again, I was dead wrong.

I’ve tried to make it even more fresh, and boy-oh-boy it really worked! This one is really fresh, light, young, happy, fresh, green, lively, energetic, did I mention fresh? Yes, fresh, cheerful, mild, crisp, brisk, etc. etc.

In a perfect world I would use fresh seafood bought from a fisherman that just came back from a night of fishing, and he would charge a few coins really. But hey, this is Sweden and seafood is embarrassingly expensive, so I had to go for the frozen stuff, I hope you can forgive me.


Created with Sketch. 1 hour Created with Sketch. 4 servings


  • 250 gsalmon
  • 250 gcod
  • 100 gshrimp
  • 100 gmussels
  • 3 tablespoonolive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 clovesgarlic
  • 2 stickscelery
  • 300 gbaby potatoes
  • 2 parsnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 150 mlcrème fraiche
  • halflemon
  • 125 gcherry tomatos
  • 1 avocado


  1. Start using a big pot, the bigger you have, since we need the ingredients to have space (I should have used a bigger one when I took the photos). Add olive oil and all the vegetables (onions, garlic, parsnip, carrots, potatoes, celery) chopped in nice little dices of about 1,5 x 1,5 cm. Let it go on high for 5 minutes, stirring it frequently. Add 3 dl of boiling water, salt and pepper to taste and let it cook on medium for 5/10 more minutes, or untill the potatoes are half cooked.
  2. Cut the salmon and the cod in big chunks and add it to the soup. Fish filet is very delicate and we don’t want it to fall apart so please be gentle with it.
  3. After 3/4 more minutes add the shrimp and the mussels, and let everything cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. In a separate frying pan quickly fry the halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. A couple of minutes on high will do, we don’t want them to become mushy at all.
  5. Now add the creme fraiche to the soup (I’d say 2 dl, but you can use less if you feel like). And the juice of half a lemon.
  6. Assemble the bowl: pour some of the soup, and add as topping the cherry tomatoes, 3-4 slices of avocado, grated lemod peel, and some finely chopped parsley.

For those of you (and I mean mostly my south-european friends) who think this is too wierd, with crème-fraiche and lemon, I guess you can keep these ingredients out. But I really think you should dare to try, because it’s really nice: the acidity of crème-fraiche + lemon in contrast with the round flavour of fish is quite something. And it’s fresh, of course.


(the ultimate snack?)

In our previous apartment, we used to host traditional Christmas dinners for our friends. Well, maybe not that traditional as a lot of our friends were (and are) vegetarians, which meant we’d do twice the stuff. My favorites from the meat side of things but also vegetarian alternatives. That meant almond balls and vegetarian Jansson’s, but also a lot of other things not intended to mimic meat “originals”. Tofu, fried cheese, pickled mushrooms and: croquettes. I’d do them with fried mushrooms or chili and som herbs (I should say that they aren’t especially Christmassy or anything, which is important as you really should have more often than just Christmas).

So croquettes can be many things. Commonly, they’re mashed potato rolled in bread crumbs and fried, maybe with something mixed in with the mash. I find these to be… not very interesting.

Others are based on béchamel sauce mixed with chicken or lobster or something else wonderful. To me, regardless of what you mix in, these croquettes are all about the béchamel. I looooove béchamel. A couple of years back my brother Olov taught me a new trick, which he got from Mathias Dahlgren (Olov talks about it in Swedish here). Fry chopped yellow onion in butter as a base for the sauce. Sounds… insignificant, yes? But no, I find it to be a great improvement. In addition, I use bay leaves and cloves to spice the sauce, which I also thought I got from Olov (and in turn from Mathias, btw, here’s a croquette recipe by him) but I’m not sure about that (Mathias does use it in another of his croquette recipes so it is probably from him, and he is a god damn genius so… it makes sense).

I probably got the whole concept of making croquettes from Olov actually, so yeah… credit to him. But I’m writing it up which is… real hard work (I should say he also wrote it up, in Swedish, here).

So, back to it. The base of these croquettes is a thick, tasty béchamel. As mentioned: to this, you can add just about anything. Some chili, seafood, mushrooms, chicken, whatever! It’s all going to be great. These particular ones are made with smoked salmon and confit yellow onion. They’re pretty great but as I said: put anything in a great béchamel and deep fry it and it’s gonna be good.

Created with Sketch. 1.5 hours of cooking, a couple of hours of waiting for the sauce to cool down Created with Sketch. 80-100 croquettes


  • 700 gmilk
  • 100 gflour (ca 2 dl)
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 200 gsmoked salmon
  • 150 gParmigiano Reggiano (or, other cheese if you prefer)
  • 50 gbutter
  • 100 gpanko (asian bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 loil for frying, e.g rapeseed
  • Additional flour for the breading
  • Salt, pepper, bay leaves and clove


  1. Begin with the onion confit. Put a pot with 4-5 centimeters (ca 1.6 inches) of oil on the stove, on medium heat. Slice two of the onions into quarter onion rings. When the oil has heated up a bit (couple of minutes), add the onion and turn the heat down. The onion should simmer gently in the oil for an hour or so.
  2. Put the butter in a pot on medium/high heat. Finely chop one of the onions. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the onion chop and turn the heat down to medium/low.
  3. While the onion is frying put the 100 grams of flour in a big bowl. Add about 3oo grams (3 dl) of the milk while whisking. Continue whisking until it’s a smooth batter (add more milk if it’s too thick to whisk but don’t add all the milk at once, you’ll never get rid of the flour lumps), then add the rest of the milk while continuing the whisking.
  4. Add som salt, white pepper, 2-3 bay leaves and 3-4 cloves to the mix.
  5. Grate the cheese.
  6. When the onion has softened, add the flour-milk-mix to the pot. Turn the heat up and stir the bottom of the pan continuously with a flat wooden spoon.
  7. When the mix starts to thicken (it will become quite thick, quite quickly), lower the heat and add the cheese. Continue stirring on low heat for a minute or two.
  8. When the cheese has melted in the sauce, take the pot of the stove.
  9. Put the onion confit in a sieve.
  10. Taste and add salt and pepper to the béchamel as to your liking. Chop or rip the smoked salmon into small pieces. Mix the salmon bits and the onion confit in with the béchamel.
  11. Spread the salmon-onion confit-béchamel-mix in an oven tray. Let it cool down for 10 minutes, then cover it with plastic film and put it in the fridge to cool down further. It needs at least a couple of hours in the fridge to become cold enough to allow us to make firm (enough) balls from it.
  12. When the mixture is cold and firm, prepare three bowls. One with flour, one with the two eggs lightly whisked with some water (10% of the volume) mixed in, and one with panko.
  13. Make balls (ca 3-4 cm, 1.25 inches, in diameter) from the batter and cover them with flour. They will be both sticky and a bit unstable so this step requires careful handling (the colder the béchamel, the easier this becomes). Proceed to dip them in the egg whisk and then roll/cover them in panko.

  14. Deep fry the balls in rapeseed oil for 1.5 – 2 minutes at 180C (356F), and you’re done! Let the croquettes rest for a couple of minutes before eating. Garnish with som fresh herbs and a maybe splash of lemon (not to much though, as too much moist takes away the crisp).

If you want, you can freeze the croquettes when they’ve been “floured”.

Then, it’s real easy to take them out of the freezer, dip them in egg-water-mix and cover them with panko. It’s nice to have a bit of a buffer in the freezer and it’s a great starter in under 10 minutes. As they’re frozen, they’re real easy to handle, but does tend to become a bit flat in the bottom. You might also need to adjust the frying time to avoid a frozen béchamel core. However, I fried these ones (pre frozen) for two minutes and they came out great.