To satisfy every preference, Peter Berley, author of The Flexitarian Table, adopts a fork-in-the-road approach: Start with one base recipe, then add the protein or substitute ingredients at the end. For a vegetarian-friendly take on bouillabaisse, Berley waits until the last few minutes to divide the stew in two, then adds chunks of white fish to one half and plump white beans to the other.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed or chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2"-thick pieces
  • 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4"-thick pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2"-thick pieces
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, broken up
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup cooked great northern or cannellini beans
  • 8 ounces firm white fish fillet (such as fluke, bass, grouper, blackfish, or monkfish), cut into 1" chunks
  • Ground black pepper

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (about 1/2 cup)


Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

To make stew: In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt, fennel seed, turmeric, bay leaf, and rosemary. Sauté 5 minutes, or until onion softens. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add sliced fennel, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes (including juices). Pour in wine and 2 to 3 cups water, or enough to cover vegetables by 1 . Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and let cook, partially covered, 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Transfer half the stew to another saucepan. Add beans to one pan and fish to the other. Simmer each stew 3 to 4 minutes. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, make rouille: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree all ingredients until smooth. Ladle stew into bowls and drizzle in rouille or spread it on Parmesan toasts.

Note: Peter Berley serves this stew with Parmesan toasts, which he makes by brushing baguette slices with olive oil, sprinkling on freshly grated Parmesan cheese, then baking in a 375° oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

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