Savory Seafood Stew: Zuppa di Pesce

For this one, leave out the beans. The carrots are there for flavor. If you really do not want to add those, you could use some carrot seeds or carrot tops (I’ve always dried them and used them in soups).

Ingredients

FOR THE SOUP BASE:
2 quarts water
1 (35-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with liquid (preferably San Marzano)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 3-inch lengths (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, trimmed and sliced thick
1 large onion, sliced thick

10 sprigs fresh thyme
Zest of 1/2 lemon, removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
1/2 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

TO PREPARE THE SOUP:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and sliced 1/2-inch (about 2 cups)
8 cloves garlic
4 medium calamari, cleaned, with tentacles left whole, bodies cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings (about 1 1/4 pounds)
18 medium sea scallops (about 1/2 pound)
8 ounces fresh firm-textured fish fillets, such as salmon, snapper or swordfish, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups Braised Cannellini Beans, recipe follows
24 mussels, preferably cultivated, cleaned
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/2 pound)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Crusty Italian bread, optional

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