Seafood Stew with loads of herbs
From the Herbfarm Restaurant Cookbook, chef Jerry Traunfeld. The recipe says this takes 30 minutes once veggies are all prepared; there is a lot of chopping and on my electric stove, it took longer than 30 minutes to cook, but it was well worth the effort and the leftovers were also delicious. I did not use all of the seafood or the total quantity called for. Makes 6 generous servings.
2 medium leeks - I used fresh onions from farm instead
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers, red, yellow and/or orange, seeded and cut into 3/8 inch strips
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped - 3-4 of Anchor Run garlic cloves
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh fennel seeds or coarsely chopped English thyme - I used a whole fennel bulb and could have used 2
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped - should be about 3 cups
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds small live clams, purged
1 pound live mussels, washed and beards removed
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound white-fleshed fish, such as halibut, red snapper or true cod
Optional: 1 cup cherry tomatoes in various colors, halved -- I used these and think that the soup would not have been as good without them, even though it is called optional
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram - I used 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano
1 cup (gently packed) fresh coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups (gently packed) torn fresh basil
freshly ground pepper
First make the vegetable base: cut off and discard the tops of the leeks at the point they turn from light to dark green. Split the bottom portion lengthwise in half, keeping the roots attached so that they layers will not fall apart. Rinse the leeks thoroughly. Cut the leeks into 3-inch lengths, discarding the roots, then slice each section into 1/8-inch thick matchsticks. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, bell peppers, garlic, fennel, and red pepper flakes; cook stirring often, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, wine, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and gently boil the mixture for about 5-10 minutes.
Add the seafood: add the clams and mussels to the pot, cover tightly, and cook until the shellfish open. Discard any clams or mussels that do not open. Gently stir in the fish chunks and shrimp and cover again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the fish is not longer translucent and the shrimp is opaque and firm but not curled into a tight circle. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, the marjoram, parsley and basil. Taste and season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. Serve immediately in shallow bowls, accompanied with crusty French bread.