[Food Tip: Fennel is an aromatic herb similar in looks to dill. Both the root and the leaves have a mild licorice flavor. Fennel dates back to the ancient Green and Roman days and was thought in Rome to aid with weight loss.]
This fish soup is a classic that has been revamped with fresh fennel and orange. The flavors linger long after the last bite. The rich tomato base can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat to a gentle boil and add your fresh seafood.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin
2 leeks (white part only), sliced paper thin
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 (8-ounce) bottles of clam juice
1 large orange, juice and rind
1/2 cup white wine or substitute with 1/2 cup orange juice
2 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, add liquid from 1 can only
1 pound uncooked medium-large shrimp peeled, divined
1 pound sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1 pound little neck clams, cleaned
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy, large pot or Dutch oven.
2) Add next 7 ingredients (through red pepper flakes), saute until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3) Add tomatoes, clam juice, juice from orange and rind, and white wine. Increase heat and boil gently for 15 minutes.
4) Add clams and liquid from 1 can, shrimp, scallops, and little neck clams. Cover pan and reduce heat, simmer for 2 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque. (Careful not to overcook)
5) Pour into soup bowls, sprinkle with fresh basil, and serve. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional Analysis per serving: 331 Calories; 17 percent fat (6.3 grams); <1 gram saturated fat; 46 percent protein; 37 percent carbohydrate; 5.4 grams fiber.