Venetian Style Fish Soup
A hearty, flavorful dish that’s perfect as comfort food
In the late 1800s, Italian fish wholesaler in San Francisco and “Fish King” Achille Paladini developed the cioppino, a fish stew made from leftover fish and Dungeness crabs. As Italian restaurants proliferated in the area, cioppino became a staple. Today, we show you how to add a Venetian twist on traditional cioppino fish soup, and prepare it right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Cioppino can be quite messy to eat, due to the inclusion of different shellfish in the stew. This recipe for Venetian Style fish soup eliminates this mess, because instead of leftovers, we’re using beautiful, firm fish fillets and shelled shrimp as the protein in the dish. Adding some Sauvignon white wine to this dish also enhances its flavors, as M&S sommelier Chris Murphy says “fish always benefits from a light, racy, and refreshing Sauvignon. White wine is also always a winner when added to a delicate, tangy tomato sauce”.
When selecting the fish for this dish, make sure you get a firm or moderately firm fish like cod, halibut, or ocean perch. Picking several kinds of fish will also add a depth of flavor to your stew, so don’t overthink what kind of fish you’re going to use. As for the shrimp, make sure you get whole shrimp from the market and peel them yourself, because the shells will be used to add flavor to the stew.
· ½ lbs of large shrimp, peeled, with shells reserved
· 2 cups of water
· 3 tbsp of olive oil
· 2 chopped carrots
· 2 chopped onions
· 1 chopped fennel bulb
· 2 chopped celery ribs
· 6 cloves of minced garlic
· ½ cup of Sauvignon Blanc
· 3 ½ cups of bottled clam juice
· 2 ½ cups of crushed tomatoes in a thick puree
· ¼ tsp of dried red pepper flakes
· 5 tbsp of fresh parsley
· ½ tsp of dried thyme
· 2 bay leaves
· 2 lbs of firm fish fillets
· Salt and pepper to taste
- Like any stew, this dish pretty much cooks itself.
- Boil the shrimp shells in the 2 cups of water in a large pot, and simmer for 15 minutes to create a shrimp stock. Then, remove the shells and discard, and keep the fresh shrimp stock in a bowl.
- In a large pot, heat up the olive oil and sauté the carrots, onions, fennel, celery, and garlic, and cook until tender. This should take about 5 minutes. You can then add the wine to deglaze the pan, and cook until the wine has almost evaporated.
- Add in the shrimp stock, clam juice, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, 4 tbsp of the chopped parsley, thyme and bay leaves.
- Allow the stew to cook and reduce on a low simmer for 25 minutes. Taste for salt and season accordingly.
- Remove the bay leaves, and add the fish and shrimp to the pot, cooking for 2 minutes until the seafood is just about done.
- Sprinkle on the rest of the parsley and serve.