Seafood Soup with Rouille Croutons

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Fresh Seafood Soup with Rouille from SeaFood Restaurant, The Plettenberg Hotel

The Plettenberg Hotel’s signature dish is a thing of glory, perfect for when you want to wow your guests. The combination of fish and fragrant spices make it a most impressive starter – or even the star of the show! Taste it in the beautiful surroundings of SeaFood at The Plettenberg, then try the recipe at home to impress your dinner guests. It may seem a bit laborious to make but oh! the rewards! Rouille is a spicy, garlicky mayo, traditionally served spread on lightly toasted croutons to float in the soup.

Seafood Soup with Rouille and Croutons Recipe from The Plettenberg Hotel

Ingredients (Serves 6)

For the soup you need:

  • 1 Kg whole fish, such as hake, gurnard etc cut into pieces, (do not use an oily fish like mackerel, trout or salmon)
  • 90 ml olive oil
  • 80 g of each – onion, celery, leek and fennel, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • Zest of one whole orange
  • Juice of one whole orange
  • 200 g tinned tomatoes blended
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • A pinch of saffron
  • Β½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 litres very strong fish stock (see recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fish stock recipe you need:

Makes 2 litres

  • 1 kg fish bones
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb chopped
  • 100g sliced celery
  • 100g sliced carrots
  • 100g chopped leeks
  • 250 g sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 litres water

For the croutons you need:

  • 1 small baguette
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 garlic clove

For the rouille you need:

  • 25 g sliced day-old crustless white bread
  • A little water
  • 2 Tbsp harissa
  • 3 fat peeled garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ΒΌ tsp salt
  • 250 ml olive oil


To make the stock

  1. Put all the stock ingredients into a large pan and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain through a muslin-lined fine sieve, and use as required. If not using immediately, leave to cool, then chill and refrigerate or freeze.

To make the soup

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the vegetables and garlic and cook gently for 20 minutes until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the orange zest, tomatoes, red pepper, bay leaf, thyme, saffron, cayene pepper, and the fish pieces.
  3. Cook briskly for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the strained stock and orange juice, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Liquidise the soup, then pass through a sieve into a clean pot, pressing as much liquid as possible with the back of a ladle.
  5. Return the soup to the heat and season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

For the croutons

  1. Thinly slice the baguette on the diagonal and fry the slices in the olive oil until crisp and golden.
  2. Drain on kitchen paper and rub one side of each piece with the garlic clove.

To make the rouille

  1. Cover the slice of bread with the water and leave to soften.
  2. Squeeze out the excess liquid and put the bread into a food processor with the harissa, garlic, egg yolk and salt. Blend until smooth.
  3. With the machine still running, gradually add the oil until you have a smooth, thick, mayonnaise-like mixture.

Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.

About The Plettenberg

The Plettenberg, part of The Liz McGrath Collection, is situated on a rocky headland in one of South Africa’s most spectacular beach towns. Tucked neatly into the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay boasts a year-round temperate climate, pristine beaches and dense green forests, making it the ultimate South African seaside escape. The Plettenberg is a five-star property that has direct beach access and showcases some of the most breathtaking vistas in Southern Africa, with views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand. The hotel features 37 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including 12 Suites and two spectacular Villas.

Press release by Scout PR


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Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.