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A Cioppino Recipe Perfect For a Dinner Party

Prepare to wow your guests with this hearty, classic, seafood soup.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a flood of Italian immigrants made their way to San Francisco, leaving a permanent mark on the culinary fabric of the city forever. One of the great dishes to come from that period is cioppino, a hearty fish and shellfish soup based on the classic seafood soups of the old country. This is a very fast, very delicious cioppino recipe, combining a full roster of nutritional superstars: tomatoes, garlic, wine, herbs, and lots of fresh seafood. Cioppino is great for a dinner party! And if you need to educate any of your party guests on what cioppino is, feel free to memorize the first two lines of this paragraph and recite it to them (but not with your mouth full).

Nutrition: 280 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 760 mg sodium

Serves 6

You'll Need

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bulb fennel, cored and diced, fronds chopped and reserved for garnish
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
11⁄2 cups clam juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1⁄2 cups red wine (Pinot)
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
1 lb firm white fish, such as halibut, cod, or mahi-mahi
1⁄2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 to 16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded (Most mussels come fully cleaned these days, but just in case, pick through and remove any stringy "beards" that may still be attached to the shells.)
Salt and black pepper to taste

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How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Drain the tomatoes, discarding the juice.
  4. Lightly crush the tomatoes with your fingers (careful, juice may splatter from inside the tomato).
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pot, along with the clam juice, chicken broth, wine, bay leaves, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the fish, shrimp, and mussels.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the fish is firm, the shrimp is pink, and the mussels have opened.
  8. Discard any mussels that do not open. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  9. Discard the bay leaves and serve the soup with the reserved fennel fronds for garnish.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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