Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fish or Cut Bait Stew

My church had a Souper Slurpoff Soup cooking competition to raise money for the youth activities and some missions trips they are taking. My contribution was, naturally, Fish or Cut Bait Stew. And, it's still cold enough outside to enjoy it.

2 tbs Olive Oil
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
Half large onion, finely diced
2 Containers of Nature's Promise Organic Chicken Broth (Low Sodium)
16 oz. can of diced plum tomatoes
1/2 stick of pepperoni, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into thin half moons
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni
1 pound cod, pollock, hake or similar whitefish
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can of whole baby clams
Any other fresh fish/seafood you might have lying around
Salt and pepper

Heat soup pot over medium high heat and add olive oil, onion and celery. Stir constantly until transluscent, about 3 minutes. Pour in broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then add white wine and pepperoni. Bring it back to a boil and add the bouquet garni, then turn down heat to a low simmer. Let the flavors mingle (the longer the better).

This is a good time to throw a good, crusty French bread in the oven so it's nice and warm and ready for dunking. Add the fish and seafood to the pot and stir gently until they are cooked all the way through. The fish should break into beautiful chunks, the shrimp will turn pink and your belly will begin to grumble.

You're almost there. Salt and pepper to taste. Note: Do this after the seafood is added and cooked through. Seafood is naturally salty, as is the pepperoni, so it's going to settle into the soup as it cooks.

Ladle the mixture into bowls and serve with the bread.

Barracuda Stew: To give my stew a little bite, sometimes I add a little Cayenne Pepper or Tabasco to the bowl.

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