There is simply nothing more wonderful that a hot pot of fish soup on a cold day. I was laughing with Tony earlier this week because not only I did I not know the difference between cioppino and bouillabaisse, but I sure couldn't spell them either. Thank goodness for Google! Apparently bouillabaisse is a very specific recipe concocted with a specific selection of fish that are local to the coast of France, and in that fussy European style, even have to be layered in the pot a certain way in order to be 'correct'. Okay then, we're making cioppino! And personally, (I've never been one to stand on ceremony), I think you can call it cioppino, bouillabaisse, fish soup or mama's magic pot o' gold - whatever you like!
~serves 2-4 adults for dinner~
- 1 seafood combo pack
- 2 cans crushed or chopped tomatoes
- 12 oz white wine
- 12 oz broth or stock or water or tomato sauce
- 3 T olive oil
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion and celery in the olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the two cans of tomatoes and then take one of the cans and fill it up with the wine and pour that in, then repeat the process with the broth or water. (Or just open up the tomato sauce and pour that in if it's what you're going with!) Give it a taste after it's all combined and add a little salt if tastes shy - I usually add about a teaspoon, along with some pepper for kicks. Let your wine/tomato/veggie concoction come to a simmer on the stove over the course of about 10 minutes. In the mean time, salt and pepper the fin fish that you have and give your clams a quick rinse in a colander to get any dirt off of the outside of the shells. When your soup base is piping hot, add the cod and prawns and let the soup simmer for five minutes. At that point, add the scallops and the clams and let it simmer for another three or four minutes until everything is cooked to perfection! Remove the clam shells if you like, and serve with a chunk of bread and the rest of that wine. Enjoy!
p.s. Tony is insisting that there isn't enough clams in my recipe to make really good soup. Each pound of clams adds about a half cup of clam juice and whole lot of flavor, so feel free to add another big handful of clams. If you really want to take Tony's advice you might even cook your clams in a little sauce pan separately, so you can remove the shells before stirring in all the good stuff.