Bouillabaisse is a famous and ancient French fish soup (it was already prepared before the Revolution) typical of Provencal cuisine and, in particular, of Marseille. The term - which in the Provençal language is masculine (bouiabaisso), derives from the fusion of the verbs "bouillir" (to boil) and "abaisser" (to lower) - indicates a very rapid cooking system; in fact, after a quick boil, the heat must be lowered to the minimum and cooking must continue for only a few minutes.
Bouillabaisse was originally a fisherman's dish, cooked on the beach over a large wood fire, with many of the poorest and least easy to market fish. However, to prepare the bouillabaisse it is essential that there are many varieties of fish and small crustaceans; saffron, wild fennel, and dried orange peel as flavorings are also required. Fish and crustaceans are served with the cooking broth separately and accompanied with croutons of dry bread (not toasted or fried) rubbed with garlic and "rouille" sauce based on saffron, chili, garlic, breadcrumbs, and oil.