When I Make Cioppino, It’s Usually for Sunday Dinner
We love to eat seafood in my house. And cioppino is one of our favorite seafood dishes. The reason I usually make it on a Sunday is because of time. I will make the broth a day ahead of time so it can really have time to absorb all the wonderful flavors I want to incorporate. Sunday is just the day all the seafood is added in. And usually it involves guests of some sort to enjoy the two day cooking I’ve just done. Now, before you you tune me out, I have PLENTY of suggestions to not make it an all weekend thing for you as well!
Every good stew or soup starts with the stock. Now you can purchase a seafood stock (which I recommend for the non two-day excursion and you can skip to next step), or you can get creative and make your own. For this particular recipe I went all out and did stock with a red snapper fish head!
My Instant Pot is my favorite for making stock. I use a cheesecloth (makes straining quick and easy) to wrap up all the yummy things into one ball. Set at 30 min on stew, and forget. For fish stock, I definitely recommend thyme, dill, and a bay leaf as your herbs of choice to pair with lemon rinds, carrots, celery, fennel or onion, and PLENTY of garlic 🙂
The first half of this I like to make the day before. I’ll even let it sit on the stove for nearly the entire day (it’s just veggies). After I get the seafood stock going in the Instant Pot, I chop the vegetables and get cooking on the stove. Sauté the fennel, add the garlic, add the rest of the veggies, tomato paste and seasonings and blend. Add potatoes, white wine, diced tomatoes with their juices, and water if needed to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes. At this point you can leave your veggie mix on the stove to cool. Once the seafood stock is finished you can add to the veggie mix and store in the fridge once cooled.
When you’re ready to add all the seafood goodness, heat up you vegetable stock and fish stock to a boil. Add in your chopped haddock and cook for 15 minutes. If using uncooked shrimp, put into the soup just before the mussels and cook 1-2 minutes, and another 3-5 more minutes once the mussels are added. If the shrimp is already cooked, discard unopened mussels and add to soup to warm through. And, that’s it! You have cioppino, maybe even on a Sunday 😉
An Italian seafood stew that is hearty yet light.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil, extra virgin
- 1 bulb Fennel, diced
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Carrots, diced
- 3 Celery stalks, diced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 4 medium Potatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Dried Thyme, or 3 fresh sprigs
- 2 tsp Dried Dill, or 2 fresh springs
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes, with juices
- 2 cup White Wine, preferably dry
- 2 cup Water, if needed to cover potatoes
- 6 cup Fish Stock
- 1.5 lbs Haddock, or other firm fish diced
- 1.5 lbs Shrimp, diced
- 1 tbsp Fish Seasoning, like Old Bay
- 1.5 lbs Mussels, cleaned and debearded
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Fresh Parsley, chopped for garnish
Heat olive oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add fennel and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Stir occasionally. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Next, add diced carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and continue to stir and sauté for 6-8 minutes more.
Now incorporate tomato paste and other dried seasonings until tomato paste has coated vegetables.
Then add potatoes, tomatoes, wine, fresh seasoning, and enough water to amply cover potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
**Vegetable soup can be set aside for up to 3 days refrigerated prior to adding seafood.
Add fish stock (homemade or store bought) and bring back to a boil. Meanwhile, season haddock and shrimp with seafood seasoning. Add haddock to soup and cook 15 minutes.
If shrimp is pre cooked, add with mussels. Otherwise, add at about 1-2 minutes prior to. Once you add mussels, recover and let cook 3-5 minutes (until most open). Discard any unopened shells.
Serve immediately with grated Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley!