Kristin’s North Coast Fish Stew

Serves: 6


1 large fennel bulb, sliced (white part only)
1 large onion, diced
1 large link of andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4” rounds
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
3 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon of fresh
1/2 teaspoon of dried hot red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed quality tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of white wine (a dry white works well)
large pinch of saffron
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
1 cup fumet (fish stock), chicken broth or clam juice
1 (14 ounce) can of rinsed cannellini beans (or 1 1/2 cup soaked and cooked beans)
1 pound skinless fillets of thick white-fleshed fish such as halibut, cut into chunks
1 medium to large cleaned dungeness crab, disassembled (use kitchen shears to crack the body and legs)
1 pound mussels or steamer clams
1 pound scallops (or shrimp, octopus or squid)
1 tablespoon of capers
1/2 cup of assorted olives with pits
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
butter and pressed garlic to taste


Heat oil in a 5 – 6 quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, and then stir in chopped fennel, onions and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes. Add slices of sausage and continue to sauté until onions and sausages are light browned.

Turn the heat to low, and add garlic, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, saffron and salt and pepper to taste (typically about 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper).

Add tomatoes with their juice, water, wine, orange juice, zest and broth and bring to a boil.

Once it boils, turn the heat to medium low and cover while it cooks for 20 minutes.

Add in cannellini beans. Turn the heat up so the soup is bubbling and then stir in the seafood and cook until fish is just cooked through and mussels or clams are open wide, 4 – 6 minutes (discard any clams or mussels that remain unopened after 6 minutes).

Discard bay leaves. Add olives, capers and 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley. Finish the soup with a tablespoon or so of butter and more garlic if desired! Serve in wide flat soup dishes garnished with chopped parsley.

Recipe thanks to Kristin Frost Albrecht.

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