Total Time: 1 Hour


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, white parts only, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Platter of Marinated Fish
  • 3 large, ripe red tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 6 good-quality canned Roma tomatoes 
  • 4 cups Fish Stock
  • 1 cup white wine 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 pound spot prawns or other West Coast shrimp, heads and tails intact, live if possible
  • 3 cooked Alaskan snow crab legs, thawed if frozen and cut into 2-in. pieces; or 1/2 lb. cooked Dungeness crab, cracked
  • 1 pound California mussels
  • 1 pound California squid (calamari), tubes and tentacles separated, tubes cut into 1/2-in. rings


  1. Heat oil in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat. Sauté leek and onion until translucent, 2 minutes. Add garlic, then fennel slices from under fish on platter. Sauté 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, stock, wine, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, and salt.
  2. Remove fish from platter; set aside. Lift off fennel stalks and fronds and discard. Scrape marinade into broth. Bring to a boil, covered; then simmer, covered, until fennel slices are meltingly soft, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 1 qt. water to a boil.
  3. Bring broth to a rolling boil. Lay in the halibut and add enough boiling water to just cover fish. Cook until just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a platter and cover.
  4. Add thinner fish fillets and spot prawns and cook just until opaque, 2 minutes; transfer to platter as done. Add crab and mussels and cook just until mussels open, 5 minutes. Transfer both to platter. Add squid and cook just until opaque, about 1 minute; transfer to platter. Bathe platter with a ladle of broth. Remove bay leaf and thyme.
  5. Ladle about 1 cup broth each into big soup bowls (keep broth hot for a second serving, covered). Bring bowls, platter, rouille, and toasts to the table. Put a little of each seafood in every bowl and top with a dollop of rouille. Serves 8 to 10.