This is the ultimate fisherman’s stew, served with a great rouille, crusty bread, a green salad, and fresh fruit. It is just the perfect festive meal. We like to round it out with a rough red wine: Chianti, Zinfandel, or a Cotes du Rhone.
- ½ cup fruity, dark green olive oil
- 1½ cups well rinsed coarsely chopped leeks
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 2 cups canned concentrated tomato purée
- 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 cups Fish Stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons whole saffron
- 2 quarts fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 48 Cherrystone clams, scrubbed
- 3 pounds skinless firm white fish steaks, such as bass, snapper, and cod, cut into large cubes
- 36 raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 4 lobster tails, fresh or defrosted (1 pound each), shelled and halved crosswise
- Garlic croutons (see Notes), for garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onions and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the tomato puree, tomatoes, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, wine, fish stock, and salt and pepper. Simmer to blend the flavors, 20 minutes. (The soup can be prepared several hours ahead to this point. Return to a simmer before proceeding.)
3. Blend the butter and flour together in a bowl and then whisk the mixture into the tomato mixture.
4. Add the saffron and the mussels and clams in their shells and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish, shrimp, and lobster tails and simmer until all the shellfish are opened and the fish is done, another 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
5. Ladle into hot soup plates, discarding any mussels or clams that have not opened. Garnish with the garlic croutons, and serve immediately.
Nutritional information is based on 10 servings, 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, and does not include the Garlic Croutons for garnish.
Nutritional information does not include Fish Stock. For nutritional information on Fish Stock, please follow the link above.