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Northwest Cioppino

This is a rich and beautiful version of the classic soup. You can use whatever kind of seafood is available. I usually choose one or two kinds of filet (salmon, halibut, cod) and one or two kinds of shellfish (shrimp, mussels, crab, clams). Serve it with crusty bread and then a green salad with a bright dressing. If you grab a couple of chunks of nice cheese while you're at the store and pass them around with - or after - the salad, you've got a beautiful meal.
Servings: 6


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups bottled clam juice find this by the tuna fish in the grocery store, or fish stock
  • 2 cups dry wine - red white or both
  • 1 28 oz. can tomatoes undrained (I used the Muir Glen Fire Roasted ones, for a bit of that smoky flavor)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon “Better Than Bouillon” Lobster Base see note below
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parlsey
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ - ½ t crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 pound fish fillets skinned and cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch chunks
  • ½- 1 pound shellfish of your choice


  • In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
  • Stir in all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a low simmer. Let simmer very gently for about an hour, so the flavors meld. Put a lid on the pot if the soup seems to be reducing too much.
  • Increase the heat to high and stir in the fish. Cover and cook until just cooked through, about 15 minutes – stirring frequently.


- "Better Than Bouillon" Lobster Base is the secret ingredient, you can find it in the soup section of your grocery store or on-line. I don't usually use product that list ingredients I can't pronounce, but the flavor boost here is really terrific, and I figure if I only use a few tablespoons a year, how bad can it be?
- Another option is to make the soup in advance (1 or 2 days) refrigerate it, and then when you're ready to serve it warm it on the stove and when it's hot, add the fish.