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Natural Awakenings Charlotte


Bowl of cioppino seafood soup

photo courtesy of AmericasTestKitchen

This seafood soup, popularized by Italian immigrants in San Francisco, offers up an appealing assortment of fish and shellfish in a tomato-based broth.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
¼ cup water
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
⅛ to ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1, 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved, chopped coarse
1, 8-oz bottle clam juice
1½ lb skinless halibut fillet, ¾-to 1-inch-thick, cut into 6 pieces
1 lb littleneck clams, scrubbed
1¼ cups dry white wine
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

Any firm-fleshed, ¾-to 1-inch-thick whitefish (such as cod or sea bass) can be substituted for halibut. Discard clams or mussels with unpleasant odors, cracked shells, or shells that won’t close. If littlenecks are not available, substitute Manila or mahogany clams, or use 2 pounds of mussels. If using only mussels, cook them all at once with the butter and wine for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with sourdough or rustic bread.

Heat vegetable oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, oregano and pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juice and clam juice, and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Submerge halibut in broth, cover and gently simmer until fish is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and, using slotted spoon, transfer halibut to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.

Bring clams, wine and butter to boil in a covered 12-inch skillet over high heat. Steam until clams just open, 5 to 8 minutes, transferring them to pot with tomato broth as they open.

Once all clams have been transferred to a pot, add mussels to skillet, cover, and cook over high heat until mussels have opened, 2 to 4 minutes, transferring them to pot with tomato broth as they open. Pour cooking liquid from skillet into pot, being careful not to pour any grit from skillet into pot. Return broth to simmer.

Stir parsley into broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide halibut among serving bowls. Ladle broth over halibut, making sure each portion contains both clams and mussels. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen

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