Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cioppino (Seafood Soup)

The perfect soup for when you've had too much of everything--red meat, butter, baked goods, chocolate, you know the drill. Savory and fortifying, full of lean protein, rich but low in fat, this is a good one, folks. I highly recommend making some stock next time you have a bunch of shrimp peels on hand, it's worth the extra effort in this case.

Cioppino (Seafood Soup)
serves 3

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, small dice
1 14-oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained
2 c. seafood stock*
8 oz. halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
.25 lb. uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp
.25 lb. bay scallops
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper
garlic toasts**

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and crushed pepper; saute 3-4 minutes until golden and soft. Add tomatoes, stock, and potatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Add all seafood and the parsley; simmer until seafood is opaque in the center, about 3 minutes (the seafood will continue to cook as you serve it, do not over cook). Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with more parsley and garlic toasts. Eat immediately!

*If you do not have seafood stock on hand, you can substitute 1 8-oz. bottle of clam juice, .75 c. dry white wine, and the juice from the canned tomatoes. However, if you would like, my seafood stock recipe is really easy and you can always have some on hand in your freezer:

Seafood Stock
makes about 4 cups

2 Tbsp olive oil
shells from 1 lb. large shrimp
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
.5 c. dry white wine
.25 c. tomato paste
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
10 sprigs fresh thyme, including stems

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shrimp shells, onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat and saute for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1.5 quarts of water, the wine, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain well, pressing the solids.

**Garlic toasts are the perfect accompaniment to this savory stew, and very simple to make. Slice a baguette thinly, then drizzle each slice with a little olive oil. Cut a large clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side over each slice of bread. Sprinkle with a few grains of salt, then toast under the broiler. Enjoy!


nosheteria said...

Wow! This sounds excellent. I love a good cioppino but have yet to make my own. Thanks for the recipe.

Marianne said...

You're welcome! It's a wonderfully simple recipe, once you have the stock.