Fish Stew (Coippino)

This is a great soup year-round, especially if you’re trying to survive a San Francisco summer, where the dish originates. I like to make this when I have a variety of frozen seafood that I need to use up, but obviously it’s best when everything is fresh! Soup base can be made ahead and/or frozen for later.

Adapted from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS

  • Soup Base
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
    • 1  bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I like the TJs tube)
    • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine or red wine vinegar
    • 1 (28- to 32-ounces) can whole plum tomatoes
    • 1 cup bottled clam juice
    • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Seafood (any combination works, depending on what you have and/or like)
    • 1 lb king crab leg
    • 1 1/2 lb. small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
    • 1 pound skinless white fish (red snapper, halibut) fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
    • 3/4 pound sea scallops
  • Fresh Herbs
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves
  • Phase 2: Accompany with whole wheat bread
  • Phase 3: Accompany with sourdough bread

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot.

2. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper and cook until onions are softened.

3. Add bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4. Add wine and boil until reduced by half.

5. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2- to 3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered. Set aside opened clams. Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.

7. Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

8. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot.

9. Plate and garnish with parsley and basil. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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