This is not going to be one of those 15 minute meals but it is totally worth the effort. When I make this meal the I double the recipe for everything but the seafood. After our first serving and all the fish and such are removed I freeze the stock so my next Cioppino dinner is a lot faster.
As for the seafood that you put in your cioppino, use what you like. You can have lobster, squid, or anything. The name is said to have come from the docks when someone would be making a pot of soup and all of the fisherman would chip in. With an italian accent that might sound like cioppino. So see what is fresh at your fish market and plan accordingly. This will insure the best tasting cioppino you can make.
6 cups of fish stock
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 large organic onion, chopped
3 large shallots, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ – 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (remember you can always add more)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 ½ -2 cups dry white wine (something you would drink)
2 bay leaves
2 TB coconut oil
1 TB olive oil
1 large 28 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen is good)
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound of mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound wild caught large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ pounds firm fish files such as halibut, salmon, white tuna cut into chunks
1 section for each serving Dungeness Crab (traditionally served in the shell, you choose)
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat the oil is a very large pot on medium high. Add in onion, shallot and fennel- sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until flavors are combined. About 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes with juice, wine, fish stock and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook another 30 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to combine.
Add the clams and mussels to the pot, cover and cook until they begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, fish, and crab. Simmer gently until everything is cooked through and the clams are completely open. This should take approximately 5 minutes but use your eyes to be the judge. Remove any unopened clams or muscles and the bay leaves.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more red pepper flakes at this point too.
Ladle the Cioppino into large bowls and sit down to an amazing meal.