I have to say that this Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew) is the best soup/stew I’ve ever had.
It has many of the usual suspects found in a Cioppino: onions, shallots, fennel, fennel seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, tomato paste, white wine, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, wild shrimp, clams, squid… but what took this over the top (for my humble taste buds) was the homemade lobster stock I pulled from the freezer!
The last time I boiled lobster, I added the shells back to the pot with corn cobs, veggies and herbs and made a big pot of intensely flavourful stock and froze it. I was not sure how I’d use it, but now I think the other portion still frozen, is destined to end up in another pot of Cioppino!
I also added fresh corn kernels and finished the soup with tarragon from our garden.
Cioppino made with Lobster Stock
What takes this dish from good-to-great is the quality, flavour and intensity of the fish stock. So next time you make lobster, shrimp, shellfish, keep the shells and take the time to reduce down the flavours of the shells, with veggies & herbs, then freeze it for the tastiest Cioppino ever!
*Watch how to make Cioppino here.
Feel free to switch up the seafood. *I used clams, wild Argentinian shrimp, fillet of Sole, lobster and rock lobster tails in this video and I used mussels instead of clams in this stew below.
This Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew) was made with mussels instead of clams. It was made and served in my Hestan NanoBond Titanium 5 Quart Essential Pan.
The Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew) with clams was made and served in my gorgeous Hestan CopperBond Induction Copper 3.5-Quart Sauteuse.
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Cheers! James & Elaine
Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 large shallots chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups dry white wine
- 1 can diced tomatoes in juice (28-ounce )
- 6 cups fish stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 corn on the cob – kernels removed cob reserved (or 1 cup frozen corn)
- 1½ pounds littlenecks clams scrubbed and soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 1 pound uncooked large wild shrimp peeled and deveined
- ¾ – 1 pound cleaned squid bodies sliced into ½-inch rings, tentacles halved lengthwise if large
- Fresh tarragon leaves for serving
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the fennel, onion, shallots, celery, fennel seeds and salt, sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, fish stock and bay leaf.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
- Add the corn and the clams to the pot. Cover and cook until the clams just begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and squid. Simmer gently until the shrimp & squid are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, about 5 minutes more (discard any clams that do not open).
- Season the soup, to taste, with more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with tarragon leaves and serve with fresh bread or toast.
- What takes this dish from good-to-great is the quality, flavour & intensity of the fish stock. So next time you make lobster, shrimp, shellfish, keep the shells and take the time to reduce down the flavours of the shells, with veggies & herbs, then freeze it for the tastiest Cioppino ever!
- Feel free to switch up the seafood, I used mussels instead of clams in this stew.