Zuppa di Pesce can be found in various
variations across Italy. This version is similar
to a soup we enjoyed on the Adriatic coast many
years ago. You can vary the seafood depending
on what you can find fresh in your region.
16 to 20 Fresh Mussels
16 to 20 Fresh Clams
1 Cup White Wine
1 Medium Grouper Fillet (About 1 Pound)
1 Medium Red Snapper Fillet (About 1 Pound)
4 Extra Large Prawns
1/2 Fennel Bulb, Cleaned & Sliced
1 Medium Onion, Peeled And Chopped
2 Celery Stalks, Sliced
2 Carrots, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Chopped
4 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Saffron
1 Quart Fish Broth (Can Be Found At Your Fish Mongers, Or Make From Scratch)
1 14 Oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Red Chilli Pepper
Salt & Pepper
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley
Grated Zest From 2 Lemons
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
Salt & Pepper
8 Small Slices Of Crusty Bread, Grilled And Rubbed With Fresh Garlic
To make the broth, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the fresh, chopped vegetables. Cook until softened, and then add the tomatoes, fish broth, saffron, chilli pepper, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for an hour over simmering heat. Strain the broth mixture through a sieve, pushing some of the softened vegetables through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Place the broth in a large, low pan over low heat until needed.
Prepare the gremolata topping by chopping all of the listed ingredients together until finely chopped. Set aside.
Heat the white wine in a heavy saucepan and once hot add the musssels and clams. Cover and cook until all have opened. Remove and keep warm.
Cut the fish fillets into 4 pieces, and place all into the heated broth with the shrimp and poach until just cooked through.
Serve by placing two grilled slices of bread in the bottom of 4 shallow bowls. Divide the clams, mussels, fish fillets, and shrimps into each bowl, and then spoon over some of the tasty broth. Sprinkle some of the gremolata topping on each bowl, and serve immediately.
Deborah Mele 2004