September through April is the best time to enjoy Cioppino a seafood soup. Mostly, because the summer months are when shell fish spawn and they need a rest period to repopulate. In addition, spawning fish taste different. This is a great meal to serve your guests and after making this Cioppino you will not want to eat it in a restaurant again! Serve with GF garlic toast to sop up the yummy broth.
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced2 large shallots, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cups dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, fennel, salt, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (more if you like more heat) and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, chicken stock, fish stock and the bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30-45 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5-10 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer until the fish and shrimp are cooked, and the clams and mussels are completely open, (remove any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and the rest of the red pepper flakes.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER CUP: CALORIES 125, FAT 3.2G, CARBOHYDRATES 4.8G, PROTEIN 18.8G