We have excellent Seafood Chowders here in Ireland but today I want to introduce you to this Mediterranean Diet, Italian Seafood Stew recipe. Like all the Mediteranean countries, Italy has a huge variety of seafood recipes. This soup is from the region of Tuscany. It’s a combination of seafood and fish with vegetables and actually reminds me a bit of our Irish Seafood Chowder. Unlike our chowder where we use a creamy base to make a rich and filling meal, this Italian Seafood Soup has a tomato and white wine base. It’s simple, lovely and fragrant and taste wonderful as a starter or main dish served with crusty, homemade bread.
It is a great, easy recipe if you are new to cooking seafood. You can use any kind of fish or seafood for this stew. If you choose oily fish like mackerel or salmon for this dish, it is also a healthy source of omega 3 fatty acids besides being extra tasty. There is no problem cutting the filets into chunks leaving the skin on. Leaving the skin on ensures you don’t waste the fat directly under the skin. Fat from fish is very healthy and there is no problem eating it especially if there are no other oils or fats used in the preparation of the meal. Just make sure you descale the fish before cutting it into chunks. I alway recommend using live mussels for all your seafood meals as they have far more taste and are fresh. Obviously if you can’t get fresh mussels you can substitute them with canned or frozen mussels.
Ingredients to Serve 2 – 4 :
- 1 lb / 1/2 kg assorted fish (mixed fish fillets, squid etc) cut into chunks
- 15 – 20 live mussels
- 3 – 4 oz / 80 – 100 g raw, peeled prawns
- 1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
- one spring of fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup / 100 ml white wine
- 2 cups / 0.5 l water
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 medium carrot, quarted and chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 7 oz/200 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tbs tomato purée
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- crusty bread to serve
Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes
- Place the fish, half of the celery and onion, the bay leaf, parley spring, wine and water a large sauce pan, bring to the boil and then let simmer for 8 – 10 minutes until the fish is cooked.
- Remove the parsley spring, drain and reserve the stock and set the fish aside.
- In a seperate large sauce pan sauté the onion, garlic, oregano, remaining celery and carrot in a little bit of water for 3-5 minutes until the onions start to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, potato chunks nd reserved stock. season with some salt, bring to the boil and simmer until the ptoatoes are almost tender.
- Meanwhile clean and debeared the mussels. Add the prawns and mussels for the last five minutes of the cooking time.
- Discard any unopened mussels, then add the reserved fish and chopped parsley to the soup and continue to cook until the fish is thoughly heated.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread.
If you prefer remove half shells or all of the shells off the mussels before serving. Make sure to serve finger bowels if you choose to leave the shells on the mussels.
I Hope you enjoyed this Italian Seafood Stew recipe. It is one of the many recipes featured in my soon to be published, lotte Wild Fish and Seafood Cookbook. You can sign up for the newsletter and we will give you a chance to avail of our special pre-launch discounts.