Zuppa di Pesce
A bit like seafood stew:
Literally translated, the name is fish soup, but it is so much more. It has calamari, scallops, red snapper, mussels, and shrimp with a wonderful tomato-based broth.
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 2 28-ounce cans – whole plum tomatoes (I recommend San Marzano tomatoes)
- 6 cups – water
- 1 ½ cups – dry white wine (e.g., chardonnay)
- 2 – leeks, white part only cut into ½-inch slices
- 2 – carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 – large onion – cut into ½-inch slices
- 8 sprigs – thyme
- zest – from ½ lemon, use vegetable peeler to remove in thin long pieces
- ½ teaspoon – saffron threads, do not pack
- ¼ cup – extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon – salt
- ¼ cup – extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves – garlic, minced
- 2 – leeks, white part only cut into ½ slices
- 1 – large onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 ¼ pounds – calamari (I recommend using rings cut from the body only)
- 12 ounces – scallops cut in half
- 12 ounces – red snapper cut into bit size pieces (about 1-inch cubed)
- 24 – live mussels (make sure you buy only those that are closed and alive). Have them put on ice with holes in the bag if you will not get home within a ½ hour. Once you get them home, take them out of the bag and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to clean them.
- 8 ounces – shrimp, each peeled and deveined and cut in half
- ¼ cup – Italian parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon – pepper
The first thing you will want to do is scrub the mussels with a brush (make sure that you throw out any that do not close after you tap them). Remove the beard from the mussel by tearing it away toward the base of the mussel and not where it opens. Otherwise you can tear the mussel apart and kill them. Please go to the steamed clams and mussels with pasta article to get detaills on how to prepare the mussels. Once they have cleaned take them out and dry them. Place back into the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
Cleaning the mussels – some will float and others will sink.
Add the cans of tomatoes to a large Dutch oven and use a potato masher to crush the whole tomatoes. Add the water, wine, leeks, carrots, onion, thyme, zest, and saffron to the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once the contents boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes mixing occasionally. When the stock is finished simmering, add ¼ cup oil and salt and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
The soup stock before it has been strained.
Next, strain the soup stock into a large sauce pan and keep warm on low heat. Throw away the solids.
Heat ¼ cup oil in another large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, and onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the calamari and cook for an additional 4 more minutes. Meanwhile, remove 1 cup of the soup stock and set it aside. Place the rest of the soup stock in with the onion and calamari mixture and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the 1 cup of soup stock you removed back into the large sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add the mussels, cover, and steam for about 3 minutes – until they open, shaking the pan occasionally. Add the entire contents of the sauce pan (mussels and sauce) to the soup along with the shrimp, parsley, and pepper. Add salt to taste and serve immediately. I suggest toasted Italian bread to serve with the soup. Enjoy.
Zuppa di Pesce in the pan.
A serving of Zuppa di Pesce