Mediterranean Seafood Soup

There are so many possibilities for the fish stock in my freezer, but I always find myself falling back on this soup.  It’s a combination of bouillabaisse and cioppino; soups of fragrant broth and wine and seafood served piping hot with a loaf of bread.  It’s something we never get tired of eating.  I never get tired of cooking it, either.

  • Change it up as you like, and use whatever fresh seafood you have available:  clams, mussels, calamari, lobster, etc.
  • If your broth is strong, you can replace some of it with water.
  • It’s always better the next day.

Mediterranean Seafood Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • ½ fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 quarts fish broth
  • 1 cup strained tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • ½ pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut in ½-inch dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme and/or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of saffron
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • ¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ pound firm white fish (grouper, swordfish) cut in bite-sized chunks
  • ¾ pound scallops


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and fennel.  Sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  If they start to brown, lower the heat.

Add the stock, tomatoes, wine, potatoes, garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme or oregano.  Raise the heat to medium.  Add a pinch of saffron. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Season with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add the parsley and seafood.  Simmer until the seafood is just cooked.  Remove the bay leaves, thyme sprig, and garlic cloves.  Garnish each bowl with a pinch of parsley, and have a little lemon and hot sauce ready for those who want it.