This is a quintessential San Francisco style cioppino. Some shortcuts are taken, like subsituting white wine, clam juice and water for the fish stock, to make it easier for the home cook, but the flavor is never compromised! A hearty meal appropriate for any season. Make sure you have plenty of crusty sourdough bread handy to sop up the flavorful broth in the bottom of the bowl! —ChefAbilities
2 - 4
1 1/2 tablespoons
Extra-virgin olive oil
Large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Medium yellow onion, diced
Large shallot, chopped
Large garlic cloves, minced
Canned, diced tomatoes in juice
Dried red pepper flakes
Dry white wine (chardonnay)
1 1/2 cups
Bottled clam juice
Mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Assorted firm-fleshed white fish fillets, like halibut or cod, cut into large cubes
Crab meat (refrigerated, canned is okay)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onions and shallots and sautee until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, the canned tomatoes with juices, salt, red pepper flakes, wine, clam juice, water and a bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Check seasonings, then add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish, stirring gently. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams and mussels are completely open. You may have the cover the pot for a couple of additional minutes for all to open. Discard any clams and mussels that do not open. Check seasonings once again adding salt and additional red pepper flakes to suit your taste. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with flaked crab meat and parsley. Serve with a lemon wedge and a hunk of sourdough bread.