As Italians we tend to do everything with dramatic effects which at times seem to be exuberant to say the least but we are also known for our relaxed lifestyle and our food is no exception to that rule as we cook with intense passion. This afternoon after a torrid dentist appointment, I thought, what the hell am I going to eat if I cannot even munch and crunch, so as I was talking to Lilly, I thought why not, a wonderful seafood soup. This is an Italian Seafood Soup recipe that will have you dreaming of balmy Italian evenings. In this recipe, you need to make a seafood stock.
Ingredients for 4 pax
You will use the trimmings from the white fish and prawn shells. So to begin – make your stock – this stock is very quick and you will be able to use it as the base of any fish soup. You can buy fish stock cubes which you could use if you like the taste, but nothing beats a very well seasoned home made stock.
For the Seafood stock
1.5 litres of water
Shells from your prawns
Trimmings from your white fish
2 celery stalks
2 white onions
2 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Skim off and strain.
Ingredients for the Italian Seafood Soup
50 ml of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, de stringed and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 can chopped Italian plum tomatoes 400 gr
300 gr of fresh mussels (bearded and cleaned)
300 gr clams fresh
500 gr of shrimps, uncooked and and peeled (use the shells for stock above)
5000 gr of mixed white fish, skin and bones removed (keep for stock)
300 ml white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, celery and garlic. Fry until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook a further 12 minutes. Pass the sauce through a sieve and keep warm. Place the mussels and clams in a pot with a good grinding of black pepper and the wine, simmer with the lid on until all the clams and mussels have opened (4 to 5 minutes). Discard any that do not open, remove the mussels and clams from the jus and set to one side. Strain the cooking liquid well and add to the tomato sauce, add this stage add the home made fish stock, adjust the seasoning and bring to a gentle boil. Add the white fish and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimps and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the mussels and clams, add the parsley and remove from the heat, serve individually with crusty garlic bread.