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bowl of seafood stew
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5 from 1 vote

Poplar Hill Seafood Stew with Ciabatta Toast

Make this tomato based seafood stew a part of your Feast of the Seven Fishes or anytime you want to enjoy a hearty, yet light seafood dish. You’ll want that toast to soak up all the wonderful flavors in that broth!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Freezer-Friendly, Make Ahead, Seafood
Servings: 4
Calories: 790kcal
Author: Sip + Sanity | Linda

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets from a jar or tin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb stalks removed, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine I used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • 2 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 14.5 oz can
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 lbs mussels1 cleaned + debearded
  • ½ lb wild caught shrimp1 peeled + deveined
  • 1 lb firm white fish1,2 cut into pieces no more than 1" thick
  • kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 slices ciabatta

Instructions

  • In a mortar and pestle, crush the anchovies and minced garlic together until it forms a paste. (You can use a small bowl and a fork if you don't have a mortar and pestle.) Set it aside.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add fennel, shallots, tomato paste and crushed red pepper to the pot. Season with kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper. Saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic-anchovy paste and cook for another minute.
  • Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium-high. Reduce it by half.3
  • Add the thyme, bay leaf, clam juice, stock, tomatoes & sugar. Allow it to come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook it for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a little olive oil on your ciabatta slices and toast them for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the mussels, return the lid and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp, and the fish on top, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the mussels have opened and the shrimp and fish are cooked, but still tender.
  • Discard the bay leaf. Distribute the stew into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with ciabatta toasts.

Notes

  1. Use any combination of seafood you like totaling about 3-1/2 pounds. Remember that mollusks require slightly longer cooking than shrimp and fish.
  2. I used halibut. Any firm, white fish that becomes flaky and tender when cooked will work: seabass, cod, snapper, monkfish. Heck, if you love salmon, that would be lovely, too!
  3. Dip the handle end of a wooden spoon into the wine right after adding it the pot to gauge how much you're starting with. Do this same check periodically until the wine has reduced by half.
Make ahead:
  • You can make the soup base a day ahead. After cooling, store it in the fridge. 
  • Freeze cooled base for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • When ready to assemble, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before adding your seafood.