MAKE ROUILLE: In a food processor fitted with the cutting blade, puree all ingredients (except the olive oil and hot pepper sauce) until finely minced. With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in as thin a continuous stream as possible. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add hot pepper sauce to taste. The rouille should be very spicy.
MAKE COURT BOUILLION: Bring water to boil and add all ingredients. Return to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Skim scum from top while simmering.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove all solids and strain through double layer of cheesecloth.
MAKE BOUILLABAISSE: Cook lobsters in boiling water for 15 minutes, until bright red. Remove all meat from tail and claws. Cut into chunks and set aside. Scrub mussels and clams well to remove sand. De-beard mussels by pulling black fibers from shell.
Steam mussels and clams over 1 inch of water for about 10 minutes, until shells open. Discard any unopened mussels or clams. Remove one shell from each mussel and clam, leaving meat in other shell. Strain clam/mussel broth through double layer of cheese cloth and reserve 3 cups. Shell the shrimp.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute onion, leek, carrot, fennel, garlic, sage, saffron and orange peel until onions are soft and golden.
In a large pot, bring to a boil about 8-10 cups of court bouillon, reserved clam/mussel broth and about 2 cups wine. Add sauteed vegetables, bay leaf, parsley and wine and bring to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste
Cut fish into large chunks. Add fish and shrimp and simmer 8-10 minutes. Add lobster, mussels and clams and simmer 2 minutes. Serve in soup plates over garlic toast.
NOTES: Marseille-style fish soup -- A friend and I had been talking about theglories of bouillabaisse for the past year and we finally decided to useNew Year's Eve as an excuse to fish rather than continuing to cut bait, adnauseam. The following recipes are a combination of several derived fromold issues of _Gourmet_, Julia Child, the "Playboy Gourmet Cookbook," and"gee, that sounds good, let's add it."
* The accompanying Rouille is a garlic-hot pepper mayonnaise condimenttraditional to Marseille-style fish soup. Rouille is traditionally madewith a mortar and pestle but I prefer to use a food processor, it's justtoo much work otherwise. Pass the rouille as a condiment. Usually about 1 Tper serving is sufficient, this stuff is the essence of garlic and hotpepper.
* If you can't get fish trimmings for the court bouillon, add bottled clamjuice and shrimp and lobster shells.
* To be truly authentic, our bouillabaisse should have included eel, butmy friend was a bit squeamish about that so we left it out. Basically, anycombination of shellfish and firm-fleshed fish can be used with the morevariety the better. I dislike using crab since it flakes so easily and islost in the broth. If you can't get live lobsters, substitute frozenlobster tails but be careful not to overcook.
* Use saffron threads, rather than saffron powder which tends to beadulterated with safflower and not the same thing at all. Be conservativewith the saffron, a little goes a long way and can give the dish amedicinal taste.* We preceded our dinner with herbed leek and prosciutto tartlets servedwith champagne. Dinner included bouillabaisse; a hearts-of-palm salad withpimento and greek olives and vinaigrette dressing; lots of crusty frenchbread to soak up the broth; a dry white wine (Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc'84); and my friend's mother's sponge cake with whipped cream icing, freshraspberries and raspberry sauce, accompanied by Asti Spumante.