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What is "Bourride"?
‘Bourride’ is a provençale fish soup. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but it is possible that it derives from the verb ‘bourrer’, which means ‘to stuff’, or ‘to cram’ – I’m assuming that it refers to the fact that a bourride is crammed full of fish! There are a lot of recipes for this soup, and I cannot say which is the most authentic. What is clear though, is that a bourride consists of a mixture of fish cooked in a ‘court-bouillon‘ which contains a little saffron, orange rind, and sometimes, fennel for flavour.
The fish is removed (and reserved) before serving, and ‘aïoli‘ is stirred into the remaining broth, which thickens it. A ‘croûte‘ (stale, or oven-dried slice of bread) is placed at the bottom of each serving bowl, topped with some of the reserved fish, and the broth is ladled over. It is traditional to serve extra aïoli at the table.
The main difference between bourride, and that other famous Provençal soup, ‘bouillabaisse‘, is that a bouillabaisse contains tomatoes, and shellfish, and is served with a ‘rouille‘ sauce, and not with ‘aïoli‘.