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Everyone thinks Bouillabaisse takes all day to make and is too hard for the average cook.

That’s not so – and you can amaze yourselves and your guests by using the following recipe. You can experiment with different kinds of fish, but salmon is not a good choice. Stay with the whitefish suggested. Chopped carrots could be added with the onion, celery, and green pepper.

Quick Bouillabaisse

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

½ green pepper, seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon sugar

Homemade Tomato Sauce (recipe below)

2 cups water

1 pound whitefish (such as snapper, halibut, sole, or sea bass) cut into bite-size pieces

12 (or 18) shrimp

12 (or 18) scallops

1 dozen little neck clams (the smaller the better), and/or use 2 cans chopped clams & juice

Method:

Heat oil in a large kettle or stockpot. Add onion, celery, and green pepper and sauté until tender. Add sugar, Tomato Sauce and water. Simmer 20 minutes. Add fish, shrimp and scallops, one kind at a time, bringing soup back to simmer after each addition. Cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until fish is done. Makes 8 servings, unless you are very hungry, then figure on 4 servings. Serve plenty of warm sourdough bread and butter as a delicious accompaniment.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

2 (6-ounce cans) low-sodium tomato paste

3 cups water

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)

¼ teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

Combine tomato paste, water, onion, garlic, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, basil and pepper. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. May be stored in your refrigerator one week, or freeze until ready to use.