Sunday Lunch – Cioppino


Lunch today was a rustic fish stew known as Cioppino. I grew up eating stews like this made by my Nonno, but I’ve never actually made one myself. My mother in law and father in law were coming over for lunch today, my father in law loves fish and I wanted to treat him to something I thought he would enjoy. I followed Giada’s recipe but made a few changes like adding celery, subbing scallops for shrimp and using tilapia for the fish. I also left out the mussels.

I know it’s summer and not really stew weather, but this Cioppino was so light and tasty it was perfect for lunch…alongside some of my new favorite salad – Panzanella!

Also…if you have trouble finding fish stock like I did, the guy at the fish counter told me how to make my own. I purchased some king crab legs on sale, took the meat out (will be tomorrow’s dinner) and used the shells to make my own. You start it by sauteeing celery, onion and mushrooms in olive oil till onions are translucent, then add the crab shells, fresh thyme and black peppercorns. Fill pot with enough cold water to cover shells, I used about 20 cups if you can believe it. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Strain out shells and vegetables and there’s your homemade fish stock! I used some for the cioppino then froze the rest in freezer bags layed flat.

I sent this recipe as my entry to Jeena’s Kitchen Fishing Trip Event - check it out! She’s looking for seafood and fish recipes so if you have any send them her way!

Cioppino
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

3 TB olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
1 lb sea scallops, uncooked
1 lb tilapia, cut in 2 inch chunks

Heat oil in very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, celery, onion and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add scallops and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through and the clams are completely open, stirring getntly about 5 minutes longer. Discard clams that do not open. Remove bay leaf. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Happy plate!

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19 Responses to “Sunday Lunch – Cioppino”

  1. Bridgett posted August 18, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Oh, I love this recipe for cioppino! I showed this too my husband and he reminded me on how long it has been since I made this. Yours looks delicious.

  2. Lisa posted August 18, 2008 at 2:25 am

    The seafood looks delicious! Nice entry for the fishing event.

  3. Kristen posted August 18, 2008 at 3:25 am

    That looks so good! Now, will your kiddos eat this? Mine love seafood, but I’m not sure how they would feel about it being in soup. Hmmmm.

  4. Mary Ann posted August 18, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Oh how I miss being close to the ocean! The seafood just isn’t the same. This looks delicious!

  5. Jenny posted August 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Look at that lovely Sunday lunch! Perfect and fresh.

    My kids or husband won’t touch seafood, little stinkers!

  6. Katherine Aucoin posted August 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Looks like we’re on the same page with seafood soups. Yours looks delicious, I would definitely like to try this. Your in-laws are so lucky!

  7. Sharon posted August 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Sorry too many typos in the last comment. It’s Monday! :)

    My husband teases me because if cioppino is on a restaurant menu, I always order it without looking at anything else! This looks great and reminds me that I need to try making it on my own.

  8. Pam posted August 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Looks amazing. I have made cioppino once for my in laws and it was a huge hit. Thanks for the fish stock recipe – I’ll use it next time. Great recipe!

  9. ~Priscilla~ posted August 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    my dad or brother would like this, i have a hard time eating seafood with a few exceptions thought.:)

  10. Aggie posted August 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Bridgett – My husband will probably be asking for this again too!

    Lisa – Thanks!

    Kristen – No, my kiddies would probably not eat this. : ( Actually my 17 month old daughter probably would (she eats everything!) but I haven’t introduced shellfish to her yet…

    Mary Ann – I live not far from the ocean but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is for me to find some good fresh seafood. Drives me crazy! The tilapia I used for this was huge though, I was happy with it!

    Jenny – Thankfully my husband loves seafood so we get to treat ourselves! My picky son though…not so much! : )

    Katherine – Love any soup with seafood!

    Sharon – Happy Monday! : ) This was so easy, you can totally make it for yourself!

    Priscilla – My mom was never a seafood person so I rarely ate it growing up, unless my grandparents cooked it. Do you like shrimp?

  11. Mo posted August 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Oh, how I adore cioppino! I love your recipe. I happen to have some fish stock in the freezer I made after having crab legs. I think this will be a perfect way to use it!

  12. Jeena posted August 18, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Fantastic entry thank you. I love a good stew and this looks so so yummy. Great entry. :-)

  13. Candy posted August 18, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Oh wow! That looks divine!

  14. Paula posted August 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    What a lovely soup! I like how you included sliced fennel! I’ve never made this type of soup, and gosh it sounds so delicious. How perfect, too, to serve it with Panzanella! YUM!

  15. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen posted August 18, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Very nice looking Cioppino! I love that – great entry!

  16. Prudy posted August 18, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Oh my heavens-that looks good. I’ve got to get my act together and enter something in Jeena’s contest.

  17. constantmj posted August 19, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Aggie,
    Per mom and dad, they loved it. Thanks for making them such a healthy, delicious meal.

  18. Prudy posted August 19, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Aggie:
    Now you have me worried about you in the hurricane. Batten dowh the hatches and be safe.

  19. Dawn posted August 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I haven’t made this in ages. Yours looks so good and so tasty. This has always been such a satisfying meal to me. White wine really makes this meal. Wonderful picture.

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