This is where my "Busy Holiday Season Meal" comes in. It is a soup that I would serve to guests for dinner...in fact I have served it for dinner and have always been inundated with requests for the recipe. (My inner food snob wants me to add that it is called a "fish stew" but in reality, it is pretty much a soup.) It is fabulous and so so easy! You can make it for guests or for a regular weekday meal at home, but that would be a waste, in my opinion.
Here is the recipe:
Seafood Stew with Tomatoes and Basil Serves 5
¼ cup olive oil
1 ¼ cups chopped onion
2 tblsp. chopped garlic
4 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 1/2 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
1 cup white wine
2 6 1/2 oz cans chopped clams, drained, liquid reserved
1 lb. uncooked x-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz. fresh crab meat
½ cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tbsp. dried (I highly recommend the fresh)
cayenne pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over med. heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano and fennel and sauté until onion is tender- about 8 min. Add tomatoes, clam juice, wine and liquid from clams. Increase heat and boil for about 15 min.
Add clams, shrimp and crab meat. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Mix in the basil and simmer for two minutes more. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and pepper.