It’s been nearly a year now since I have returned from San Francisco, or as my siblings would like to call it, “San Fran” and I must say that I have indeed left my heart in it. But it wasn’t the Grimaldi ice cream shop, or the hipster inspired graffiti, or even the beautiful docks that look over the Golden Gate Bridge. No, it was the out of this world, amazing, mouth shattering cioppino that I devoured in my last day there, tight dress and all. And, yes, I was being extremely modest!
Cioppino is a tomato based fish stew that originated from San Francisco. The stew is considered to be an italian inspired dish filled with every type of seafood you could possibly imagine. Mussels, shrimp, scallops, fish, etc., this stew is the aquarium of soups. The soup is traditionally served with a piece of bread, which by the way, is a godsend for sopping of those last few spoonfuls of cioppino goodness.
- 3 quart chicken stock
- Two cans tomato paste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1 medium onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 pound of mussels
- 1/2 pound of clams
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1/2 pound large scallops
- 1 pound firm fish(halibut, bass, swordfish) Personally, I always use swordfish!
- In a food processor, blend the pealed onion and garlic until it is at an almost puree consistency. Then, in a medium/large pot, saute the pureed onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden brown. Once sauteed, add in the tomato paste and lower the flame to low/medium heat.
- Pour the white wine, chopped basil and chicken stock to the pot and lower the heat. Let the broth reduce for three-four hours, in other words, until it is at your desired thickness.
- Once the broth has reduced, raise the heat slightly and add the clams and mussels. Make sure that you clean the clams and mussels before hand; this can be done by lightly scrubbing them with a damp sponge. Let the clams and muscles simmer in the broth until they start to “peak” open. This should only take 5-10 minutes.
- After the clams and muscles have “peaked”, put in the shrimp, scallops, and fish (cut the fish into big-bit size chunks). Raise the flame to medium/high and let teh soup cook until the red of the seafood is fully cooked.There are some people who like to only “half” cook their seafood, meaning leaving it raw, but I always liek to play it save and fully cook it. I’ve just heard one too many stories about seafood sickness.
- Ah, yes, my favorite part! Serve the soup in large bowls with a side of garlic bread and dig in. Here is a link to some great garlic bread—> Garlic Bread