Italian Seafood Soup or Cioppino is an elegant, one-pot dream come true. It’s chock full of seafood and flavor, low calorie, low-carb and easier to make than you could possibly imagine!
We had this delicious Italian Seafood Soup last Christmas Eve. It was divine and I could hardly wait to share it. But, I did. I waited. I wanted to save it for the “perfect” night.
Upon further reflection, I decided this recipe should not follow the path of fine china or holiday dishes…the ones you only pull out for special occasions and guests. I’m all about celebrating every day and savoring life’s moments big and small.
So, I promptly prepared another pot of seafood cioppino soup, for lunch no less, and took some pictures. It really wasn’t much of an ordeal. It takes about an hour to make this one-pot soup and a good part of that time is hands-off simmering.
We thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch on Saturday. 🙂 It was sort of my own personal declaration that any day is a good day to enjoy a delicious meal you love with family and friends.
Tips to Make the Best Italian Seafood Soup
There are several keys to making this seafood cioppino stew spectacular (and conversely, not the creation it should be.)
- Allow the vegetables and spices to simmer and meld together for a full 30 minutes. I’ve shortened this step when making Homemade Vegetable Soup…and I am always disappointed. Since pricey seafood is involved, don’t make that mistake.
- Don’t be scared to use live mussels and clams. They are a fun addition to this stew and very easy to work with.
Tips for working with Clams and Mussels: Buy them alive and store in the refrigerator in a bag that is open just a bit so that they get some air. When you are ready to cook them, if they are “closed” then they are good. If they are open a bit, then they might not be. Tap them on the counter and if they close up, then they are still good. The ones that don’t open need to be tossed. Ours were already cleaned when I purchased them. Check with the store where you buy them for special instructions.
All that being said, you can easily substitute a can of clams.
- Don’t overcook the seafood and allow it to become tough and rubbery. It’s added at the end to achieve perfection. The shrimp should just turn pink, the scallops no longer opaque and the shells of the mollusks should be open. Resist the temptation to go a bit longer “just to be sure.”
What to serve with Italian Seafood Soup
Here are some serving suggestions to round out a dinner where seafood soup is the main attraction:
- A nice salad, such as Massaged Kale Salad or Homemade Caesar Salad by Once Upon a Chef or
- Sides such as green beans, roasted carrots, cheesy mushroom quinoa or mashed potatoes
- Don’t forget a good thick bread to sop up broth!
- Finish it off with a decadent dessert like Flourless Chocolate Cake with Ganache or Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
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Italian Seafood Soup
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 29 ounces diced tomatoes 2 14.5 ounce cans, petite diced
- 32 ounces broth low-salt chicken or vegetable
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined, tail off (I used medium-sized shrimp)
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 pound cod cubed or other firm white fish, such as mahi mahi
- 10 clams cleaned
- 10 mussels cleaned and debearded
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery to pot and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add tomatoes, broth, wine, basil, thyme and oregano to the pot and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the seafood and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until seafood is cooked through and clams and mussels have opened.