Sunday, January 15, 2012


Cioppino is a seafood stew that dates back to the late 1800s. Italian fishermen would bring in their catches and use whatever seafood they had available to make a steaming bowl of thickened soup with a tomato-based broth. The traditional recipe is made with wine, but you can choose to make a more paleo version by substituting more vegetable stock.

Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your seafood. If you need to, add the different seafood as the dish cooks. For example, if you have very large scallops, but very small shrimp, add the scallops first and cook halfway through before adding the shrimp. Most shellfish will cook in about 4 minutes.

1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, coarsely sliced
1 medium onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine (or vegetable stock)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (8 oz.) bottle of clam juice
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon

Seafood ingredients:
10 oz. skinless filet of snapper or halibut
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 large sea scallops
12 clams or mussels, cleaned

Chop the fennel, onion, and garlic in a food processor on “pulse”, just until coarsely chopped. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the vegetables, and thyme. Cook for several minutes or until the vegetables soften.

Add the wine and reduce until about half the wine is evaporated. Add the vegetable broth, clam juice, tomatoes, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, and salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet to high. Add a tablespoon of oil, lifting pan to coat the bottom. Add the scallops just until brown on each side. Remove to a plate. Add the fish and sear on each side for 90 seconds. Add to the plate and set aside until the soup base is done.

Uncover the soup base and return the heat to medium-high. Add the fish, scallops, shrimp, and clams. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes. The shellfish should open. Discard any that do not open.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with some parsley. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

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