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Fish Stew Recipe

Fish Stew
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 4 servings

On chilly nights, tuck into this flavorful, easy-to-prepare soup that’s so full of fish we call it a stew. Sop up the broth with crusty French bread.

Game plan: Traditionally this style of soup is served with a dollop of aioli that’s stirred in to add a punch of garlic and eggy richness. To keep it light, you can omit the aioli.

This recipe was featured as part of our Healthy Cooking recipe slideshow.

INGREDIENTS

For the broth:

  • 4 cups clam juice or fish stock (or the bones of one large, mild-flavored fish plus 4 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 fresh Italian parsley sprig
  • 5 whole black peppercorns

For the stew:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, outside layer discarded, cored, and cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound littleneck clams, scrubbed and soaked in several changes of cold water
  • 2 pounds mixed white mild-flavored fish fillets (such as cod, halibut, or grouper), skin on or off, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chervil or tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup aioli (optional)
  • Crusty French baguette, for serving
INSTRUCTIONS
For the broth:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan and keep warm.

For the stew:

  1. Drain the tomatoes and discard the liquid. Using your hands and working over a medium bowl, break the tomatoes into rough 3/4-inch pieces, discarding the cores but keeping any liquid and seeds; set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are translucent and the fennel has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine and let simmer until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved tomatoes (along with their seeds and juices) and the warm broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the clams, and simmer until they just start to open, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Gently submerge the fish in the broth and bring to a simmer, cooking until the fish just starts to flake when pierced with a fork and the clams open, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs, ladle into bowls, and (if you choose) top each with a dollop of aioli. Serve with the baguette.