Fish Stew


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Fish Stew

4 servings Easy
5.0 5
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Ingredients (20)

For the broth:

  • 4 cups clam juice or fish stock (or the bones of one large, mild-flavored fish plus 4 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 fresh Italian parsley sprig
  • 5 whole black peppercorns

For the stew:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, outside layer discarded, cored, and cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound littleneck clams, scrubbed and soaked in several changes of cold water
  • 2 pounds mixed white mild-flavored fish fillets (such as cod, halibut, or grouper), skin on or off, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chervil or tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup aioli (optional)
  • Crusty French baguette, for serving


On chilly nights, tuck into this flavorful, easy-to-prepare soup that’s so full of fish we call it a stew. Sop up the broth with crusty French bread.

Game plan: Traditionally this style of soup is served with a dollop of aioli that’s stirred in to add a punch of garlic and eggy richness. To keep it light, you can omit the aioli.

This recipe was featured as part of our Healthy Cooking recipe slideshow.


For the broth:

  1. 1Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan and keep warm.

For the stew:

  1. 1Drain the tomatoes and discard the liquid. Using your hands and working over a medium bowl, break the tomatoes into rough 3/4-inch pieces, discarding the cores but keeping any liquid and seeds; set aside.
  2. 2Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are translucent and the fennel has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine and let simmer until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved tomatoes (along with their seeds and juices) and the warm broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
  3. 3Reduce the heat to medium low, add the clams, and simmer until they just start to open, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Gently submerge the fish in the broth and bring to a simmer, cooking until the fish just starts to flake when pierced with a fork and the clams open, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs, ladle into bowls, and (if you choose) top each with a dollop of aioli. Serve with the baguette.
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