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Feast of the Seven Fishes


Feast of the Seven Fishes

Maria Provenzano celebrates the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve and shares her family's recipe for Cioppino, an Italian Seafood Soup.
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Feast of the Seven Fishes

Maria Provenzano



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 onion, chopped

1 large shallot (or 2 small), chopped

2 teaspoons salt

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, you can add more if you like the spice

6 ounces tomato paste

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

3 cups fish stock

2 cups vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley and basil

Approximately 1 1/2 pounds shrimp 1/2 pound small scallops (if you can only find large then cut them into smaller pieces) 1 pound halibut, cubed 1 pound mussels.

Note: use any seafood you like!

Tip: Top the ladled soup with a sprinkle of salt, drizzle of olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.



1. Heat oil in a very large pot over medium heat.

2. Add the fennel, onion, and shallots to the pan. 

3. Sprinkle the salt over them and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.

4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté for a couple of minutes.

5. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a few minutes to caramelize the flavors of the paste.

6. Add tomatoes in their juices, wine, fish stock, and veggie stock, and stir well.

7. Add the bay leaf and stir.

8. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.

9. Prepare the fish by cutting them into bite-size pieces.

10. Add the fish and cook until just cooked through.

11. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve right away.

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