As the story goes, fish soup was developed in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants who fished off Meiggs Wharf and lived in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco; many of them were from the port city of Genoa, Italy. When a fisherman came back empty handed, they would walk around with a pot to the other fishermen asking them to chip in whatever they could. Whatever ended up in the pot became their fish soup. The fishermen that chipped in expected the same treatment if they came back empty handed in the future. This is a wonderful example of a fine fish soup that is sure to impress your guests!
No special culinary equipment is needed to prepare this wonderful fish soup.
1-½ pounds of fresh Scallops, side muscle removed
1-½ pounds of Shrimp (16-20 count per pound), peeled and deveined
1-½ pounds of fresh Mussels (meat only)
1 cup of lump Crab Meat
1 pound of Baby Clams (meat only)
1 pound of Halibut or Swordfish, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 large (or two small) White Onions, finely chopped to produce about 1-½ cups
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Shallots, finely chopped to produce about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon of fresh Thyme
2 cups of Carrots, shredded
1-½ cups of Celery, finely chopped
6 Roma Tomatoes, peeled and diced to produce about 3 cups
One 6-ounce can of Tomato Paste
1 cup of White Wine
6 cups of Fish Stock
One 14-ounce can of Clam Juice/Broth
1 tablespoon of dry Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Garnishes for the Soup:
Parsley or Cilantro, chopped
Salad Croutons (and you can access the recipe for them easily by clicking on that recipe title)
Garlic toast or crostini
Red Pepper flakes
In a large stockpot over a medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, the garlic, the onions, and the shallots; cook them for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, the celery, the thyme, and the Italian Seasoning, and continue to cook it for another 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, the wine, the fish stock, the clam juice, and the tomato paste and stir well. Simmer it over a medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add the mussels, the scallops, the shrimp, the clams, and the halibut (or swordfish), and bring it to a boil. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Let it boil for a few minutes and then remove the soup from the heat and fold in the crab meat.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with any of the garnishes noted.