This is one of my best recipes, a soup that my husband loves above all others, because it is full of flavor and heat and fresh ingredients.
I adapted it from Sara Foster's cookbook, one of the few cookbooks I don't regret buying.
Her stew is replete with mussels, clams, and shrimp. I skip all those and just use fish.
This cookbook was worth buying for two recipes: the fish stew, and the black-bean dip.
Yesterday I snacked on Christmas cookies and fresh rolls all afternoon. It was terrible. Thankfully I had this stew on hand, because its real, hearty depth of flavor was purely satisfying in a way that cookies are not.
(My other two tips on how to lose six pounds: stop drinking pop, and eat a blueberry-walnut-yogurt breakfast. These tips sort of worked for me. I'm sharing them because they might help you. At the least, you'll feel better. At the most, if you're a woman, you might end up pregnant. Which means you will gain 20 pounds).
2 Tb. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (Foster's recipe calls for 6 cloves. Go for it if you love garlic)
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes (I sometimes use a diced fresh tomato)
8 cups broth, either fish or chicken
1 cup dry white wine (I use Three Buck Chuck, or sometimes skip the wine)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (less if you don't like heat)
grated zest and juice of two oranges
2 pounds of fresh or frozen fish (we like the wild-caught cod from Costco), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tsp saffron threads (this is so expensive that I use far less, just a pinch)
2 Tb. finely sliced fresh basil leaves (I often use dried basil)
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat, add onion, cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.
While onions are cooking, soak the leeks in a large bowl of cold water. Rinse and drain the leeks, and add them to the onions. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Add celery and carrots, cook and stir for 5-10 minutes
Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes
Add tomatoes, broth, wine, salt, pepper, marjoram, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. (Foster says one hour, but I like my veggies to have some personality).
Increase heat to medium-high, add orange zest and juice, fish, and saffron. Stir to mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fish is done. This might only take about 5 minutes. Fish is done when it begins to flake.
Remove stew from heat.
To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with basil
This was a date meal, since we like it and our younger kids do not.
(Look at Malachi's concerned face. He's wondering what in the world he's getting for supper).