Provence is at the crossroads of many civilisations. It is an area that has seen successive waves of migration and its cuisine – which features ravioli, couscous and orange blossom reflects this rich history.
Caroline Craig comes from generations of fruit farmers in Provence where her great grandfather, Aime Rimbert, co-founded the wine cooperative in her family’s native village Mormoiron. This book is for those who want to eat simply but well, recreating the flavours of the Mediterranean at home.
Rhone Route Classique
Enjoy a week on the sun-kissed River Rhone this summer aboard the A-ROSA STELLA sailing from Lyon ‘La Ville de Gueule’ or ‘the city of the palate’ where simple, high quality regional produce is the star of the show. From here, wend your way through Burgundy visiting Macon and Chalon-sur-Saone and southbound to lavender-perfumed Provence exploring Avignon, Arles with the option to enjoy the Camargue where wildlife-spotting opportunities abound.
A-ROSA STELLA offers a relaxed style with Premium All-Inclusive as standard. Enjoy casual regionally-inspired dining in our main restaurant, plus live cooking demonstrations like fresh mussel pots or Bouillabaise al fresco. All drinks (tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails) are included all day and evening.
Cabins are spacious and well-appointed, with upper deck cabins offering French balconies.
There’s a real emphasis on relaxation, whether kicking back with a complimentary cocktail on a sun lounger or enjoying SPA-ROSA with its relaxation room and Finnish sauna. The wonderful pool on the sun deck is perfect for a dip after a day exploring.
The Rhone Route Classique cruise operates weekly from April to October 2022 and 2023. Prices including flights and transfers from £1,499 per person (twin share).
Find out more about the cruise.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Total time: 2 hours
It has been claimed that this soup was originally cooked by fishermen in Marseille from small fish and fish scraps, using seawater. However, cultural historians can prove from sources that the bouillabaisse known today in upscale cuisine and restaurants deviates from the simple basic recipe. The oldest known recipe for this fish soup dates from 1790 by Jourdain Le Cointe in his book La cuisine de Santé and describes a soup traditionally prepared by fishermen that already contained many of the ingredients of today’s bouillabaisse. However, it was called matelote de poisson. The first recipe for a bouillabaisse à Marsellaise appeared in 1830 in Le Cuisinier Durand and contained European sea bass and langoustines, i.e., high-quality and expensive ingredients. In the past, the term ‘bouillabaisse’ was not limited to a specific fish dish, as there are recipes in old cookbooks that do not contain fish.
- 2 onions
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 small leek
- ½ fennel bulb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Peeled zest strips from half an orange
- 400 ml fish stock (from a jar)
- 250 ml dry white wine
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 tsp hot water
- approx. 2 teaspoons of tomato paste (to taste)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 king prawns, shelled and gutted
- 16 mussels, cleaned and washed
- 800 g mixed fish (e.g., scorpion fish, monkfish, red snapper, sea bass or John Dory), preferably filleted.
- 8 small potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft
- Cut onion and garlic into thin strips.
- Score the tomatoes crosswise, put them in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then peel. Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters and remove the cores. Coarsely dice into quarters.
- Slice the leek, cut the fennel into strips.
- Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, leek, fennel and orange zest and sauté briefly.
- Add fish stock, wine, tomato paste, spices and herbs, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
- Add the fish pieces with the prawns, mussels and potatoes to the stock and simmer covered for about ten minutes at medium-low heat.
- Season the soup again to taste, discard closed mussels.
- Divide the fish pieces, seafood, potatoes and vegetables into deep plates. Ladle soup over and sprinkle with fennel greens
How to win a copy of Provence: Recipes from the French Mediterranean by Caroline Craig
Provence is where the sun beats hard and dry but aromatic herbs, vines and fruit trees prosper. Comment below to tell us about your favourite part of France and a meal you have enjoyed there.
A winner will be chosen in early July 2022.
The competition closes on 30 June 2022.
Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.