Recipe: Cioppino Soup
This fresh seafood stew originated in San Francisco in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach area. This tasty treat is perfect for cold rainy days and excellent as leftovers the next day.
Originally thrown together on the boats while fishermen were out to sea, this Italian stew later became a staple as Italian restaurants became a hit on the mainland. Cioppino came from ciuppin meaning “to chop” or “chopped”.
6 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 chopped medium yellow onion
1/2 finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 finely chopped celery stalk
1 finely chopped hot chili pepper. Try a Serrano pepper!
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry rose wine
5 large tomatoes grated or 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups seafood stock (chicken stock will do)
1 Tablespoon crumbled, dried oregano
1 pound medium shrimp
1 pound firm fish (halibut, sturgeon, swordfish, monkfish, tuna or tilefish) cut into large chunks
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish
2 Tablespoons finely chopped basil, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add in the onion, celery, bell pepper and hot chili pepper, and mix to combine ingredients.
- Cook until the onion is translucent. If you get a little browning, that’s good—but the goal here is not to brown everything.
- Add the garlic, some salt and dried oregano and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and mix well. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook tomato paste until it turns into a brick color, for about 4-5 minutes. Do not let it burn.
- Turn the heat up to high and then add the wine. Mix it well and let the alcohol cook off for a minute or two. Then add the seafood stock and tomatoes and bring it to a boil, then drop the heat back down to medium-low.
- Let this simmer for 20 minutes (if you use a thermometer, look for about 190 degrees).
- Now it's time for the seafood: Start with the fish, which will need the most cooking time. Let the fish cook for 4 minutes and then add the shrimp.
- When the shrimps are mostly pink, after about 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat and adjust the seasoning (Keep in mind that it may not need more salt because the broth from inside the clams is already salty).
- Ladle the stew into deep bowls. Garnish with a mix of parsley and basil and serve with sourdough bread.