Court Bouillon (Pronounced Koo-Bee-Yon)

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Total Time
1hr
Prep
20 mins
Cook
40 mins

Court Bouillon, which means 'short boil', is a French soup/stew normally made with firm, white fish, but many other kinds of fish may be used as well. I like to use flat fish fillets like catfish, sole, flounder, tuna, snapper and perch. Of course, the type of fish you use will determine the flavor of the dish. I've included two methods of preparation for this recipe. I often use perch and tuna together as in the first method, because the perch falls to pieces and thickens the soup and the tuna maintains its shape. Note: Sometimes I make a fish stock first from fish heads and bones I can get from the fish monger. This must be strained well through cheesecloth as your stock. Or, you may prefer a vegetable stock. You may also like the rich flavor of a roux, and I've given instructions for that in the traditional method.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Quick and easy method -- Put all ingredients into a large soup pot and simmer over low heat.
  2. It doesn't matter if the herbs are fresh or dried for this method. It takes about 1/2 hour to meld the flavors, but it's better to bring this rich soup/stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Toward the end of the cooking time, add lemon juice or wine. It really enhances the flavors and helps to keep the fish firm and not discolored.
  4. Serve the stew over hot rice in individual bowls.
  5. Traditional method -- Use approximately 2 pounds of your favorite fish. In the New Orleans area, red snapper is usually the fish chosen. Sometimes catfish is chosen. But any fish is delicious!
  6. In a cast iron skillet, make a roux by melting butter, then slowly stirring in flour until it becomes dark brown in color. Don't burn! The roux will thicken the stew and give it good flavor. Set aside.
  7. In a large pot, place all other ingredients and slowly add the cooked roux to this mixture, stirring constantly until combined well and the soup is thickened. If you like, you may brown the onions in another skillet before adding to this mixture.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately ten to fifteen minutes or until fish flakes easily. Or, you may leave the pot uncovered and allow the stew to cook down a bit, depending upon your taste.
  9. Adjust seasonings.
  10. Serve the stew over hot rice in individual bowls.
  11. NOTE: Here are different ways for preparing the fish.
  12. FRESH WATER FISH -- saute in 1 tablespoon butter, then add to stock.
  13. LOBSTER TAILS -- blanch or steam halfway, then run under the broiler to finish and keep them from toughening. Add to the completed stock.
  14. CRAB AND SHRIMP -- Undercook and let finish cooking in the cooled stock to impart the best flavor.