Ciopiiiiiiiiiiino. That’s how we have to pronounce it around here. Preferably in an accent similar to that of Mario and Luigi. Because it’s fun. And I can’t really do any other kind of “Italian” accent. Although I admit I have no idea how to make “chunky Cioppino” sound even vaguely Italian.
This is the dish that Mr Meatified always orders when we go within 300 feet of an Italian restaurant. Even though it’s more American than Italian. But nobody cares because it tastes amazing. It’s also super easy, really forgiving and ever-adaptable to whatever little tweaks you want to make. You can use whatever kind of seafood you like. And you can even make it ahead by cooking all the way up to just before the seafood gets added, then refrigerating. When you’re ready to eat, just bring the broth part up to a simmer and throw in the seafood. Perfect make ahead party food if you want it to be. The Mr isn’t fond of soups that are smooth or pureed, so this is how I make it for him, with bites of onion and tomato in a broth. I like alliteration enough that I call this “chunky cioppino” even though I hear the correct, cool-kid buzzword is “rustic”. I’m ok with “chunky cioppino”! However, if you like things smoother, just blitz up the soup part with an immersion blender before adding the seafood. Then get ready to argue over who gets the leftovers later.
- 1 tbl coconut oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbl tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes, to taste
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 3 cans diced tomatoes, including juices (this brand is BPA free)
- 4 cups seafood stock
- 2 bay leaves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2.5 lbs seafood - I used a mixture of cod, shrimp & bay scallops
- In a large dutch oven or suitable soup pan, heat the coconut oil over medium and saute the onions and shallot until almost translucent.
- Add the garlic cloves, tomato paste, oregano, fennel, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and bay leaves.
- Bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and check / adjust seasonings. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves, add the seafood, cover the pan and cook until just done, about 5 minutes.
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