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Provençal Seafood Stew

Provençal Seafood Stew
April 5, 2020
Cooking Time:
Imperial (US)
If you have some fish in the freezer, this is a perfect way to use it. You can try cod, snapper, coho, shrimp, or sea bass. Fresh fish of any kind plus mussels or clams are always welcome. Feel free to improvise. If you don't have fish stock you can substitute a can of clams with their liquid and water to make up the quantity of stock. Another trick would be to take a small amount of the fish and chop it up and simmer it with the other ingredients to make the base more flavorful. If you don't have fresh fennel, some celery would be good with a little fennel seed or ground fennel. The Pastiche, if you have it, also adds that fennel flavor.
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh fennel bulb, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 16 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock plus 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp pastiche or pernod (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 red, white, or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 lb. of fish
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • Rouille (see recipe under Dollops)
  • Crusty bread
We first make the base for the soup that cooks for about an hour. The fish is added after that, just until it is cooked through.
In a large 6 qt. saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, fennel and garlic. Cook slowly for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the saffron and stir. Chop the tomatoes into a chunky paste and add to the pot with the tomato juice from the can. Add the white wine, stock,  salt, and pastiche. If you are adding small bits of fish for flavor, add it now. Cut the potatoes into 3/4" size chunks and add to the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Continue simmering for about an hour with the pot partially covered. Taste the stock and adjust for salt. After an hour you can turn the soup off until you are ready to eat.
Prepare the fish by cutting filets into 1-2" chunks. Shrimp should be peeled and tails removed but left whole.
About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, place the prepared fish into the pot and stir gently. Let the fish simmer for about 10 minutes or until it is cooked through. Don't overcook.
To serve, place in deep wide bowls and top with parsley and a generous dollop of spicy Rouille. Enjoy with some warm crusty bread for sopping the wonderful stock.
Serves 2-3
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