Vegetable Bouillabaisse

1/4 cup olive oil
2 leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise then sliced crosswise
1 large onion, coarsley chopped
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
5 medium new potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 strop of peel fron an unwaxed orange
1 teaspoon saffron strands
1 baguette, sliced for croutons
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere (about 5 ounces)
salt and pepper to taste
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

Rouille:
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1-2 red chilies, seeded and very finely chopped
1 egg yolk at room temperature
1 1/4 cups olive oil
salt and pepper


Heat oil in large saucepan. Add leeks, onions, and fennel and cook until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute.

Add stock, bay leaf, thyme, orange peel, and saffron, and stir. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer gently until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste, cover, and let stand for at least 1 hour.

Before serving, arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 about 5 minutes. Set aside.

To make rouille, put the garlic, chilies, and egg yolk in a small, deep bowl. Beat well. Add oil bit by bit, beating vigorously, until the mixture is thick, like mayonaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, warm soup. Put 2-3 croutons in each soup plate, sprinkle with grated cheese, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with rouille, to be stirred in according to taste.