Cotriade: Glorious Fish Soup from Bretagne

One of my favorite blog sites is Read Ramble.  Fay does a fantastic job of bringing together reading, music and food.   Her site is so interesting that I have actually read many of her book recommendations, bought Waverly Root’s, The Food of France (1958 first edition) and listened to her blues recordings.   The inspiration for the cotriade came from one of her posts on Waverly Root’s book.

On our visit to Brittany we ate a lot of fresh seafood and when I read about this soup I knew I’d be rendezvous-ing with my fishmonger.   I researched several French sites for recipes and found that because this is basically a “fisherman’s catch” dish, ingredients varied.  Good.   This meant I could choose the seafood as I liked; I chose shrimp, mussels and fresh cod(cabillaud).  However, consistent throughout, this soup is always served with a vinaigrette.  I chose parsley and garlic.  Delicious!

I recommend using, if you can find them, the small bouchot mussels, delicate and flavorful, they  work beautifully with this soup.

It’s a shame that we can’t share aromas on our blogs.   This had the cats and people hovering around the pot.

We said goodbye to my husband today who is on his way to Germany, then the U.S., then back to Southern Sudan.  Not a big fish fan (I think it had something to do with Catholic fish sticks on Fridays), he admitted that he would eat this again with pleasure!


6 garlic cloves

12 parsley branch leaves

Juice from one lemon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp red wine vinegar

6 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp water


2 onions, halved and sliced

2 tbsp butter

1 leek, thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, seeded and quartered

1 celery branch, sliced

Bouquet garni

3 quarts of fish stock

4 carrots, sliced

2 lbs potatoes, quartered

2 lbs of fresh cod fillet, cut into serving size

1 lb shrimp, cleaned

1 1/2 lb bouchot mussels

In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic and parsley.  Add the lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, water, pepper and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate.

Saute the onions in butter until soft, add the leek, tomatoes, bouquet garni and celery, cooking for about 2 minutes.  Add the fish stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook for 7 minutes, then add the potatoes and cook for 12-15 minutes.  Add the cod and cook for 6 minutes.   Add the shrimp and mussels and cook for about 4 minutes, just until mussels open.

Serve the soup with the vinaigrette and slices of country bread with expensive butter.

Wine suggestion:   Macon Village

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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17 Responses to Cotriade: Glorious Fish Soup from Bretagne

  1. jade says:

    extraordinaire la photo avec la soupe de le casserole

  2. This looks like a wonderful dinner. I’ve been craving seafood recently!

  3. Tessa says:

    Lovely soup! Your post Inspires me to get back in my kitchen and make a pot of San Francisco style cioppino.

  4. The china soup bowls and saucers are fabulous, and perfect for La Cotriade.

  5. Love soups like these 😀 Just delicious!

  6. Fay says:

    Rosemary, you are too kind! So far, I’ve only marked dishes in the Waverly Root book to try. My first effort will probably be a Burgundy fish stew, matelote, like coq-au-vin, except with fish. Your dish today looks scrumptious.

  7. Wonderful photos and thanks for the link to Fay’s site.

  8. ceciliag says:

    Click Clack Soup! You have found it! This looks so gorgeous and I cannot have it because we are land locked in the extreme, i wish i could share your aromas ! c

  9. Wonderful, and it looks so good in those bowls. I like the Breton touch of the butter, too, different from our Mediterranean fish soups.

  10. montezume says:

    Looks absolutely wonderful. I’m going to have to go to the fishmonger next week and try this recipe out. Do you have any suggestions for fish stock recipes? Sometimes I save prawn shells in the freezer and make it with that, but there must be a way to get a very fishy tasting stock.

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