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Seafood Soup Amalfi-Style

Copper pot with seafood soup with fish fillets, clams, mussels, olives, tomato broth
David Pasternack and Ed Levine

Prep 1 hr 35 mins
Total 1 hr 35 mins
4 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 fennel bulb coarsely chopped
  • 1 small leek washed well and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 fresh Roma or canned San Marzano tomatoes halved
  • 3 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Ricard (or other anise liqueur)
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds fish bones cleaned
  • 1 pound assorted fresh fish fillets (cod, bass, flounder, salmon, grouper, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  • Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic, fennel, leek, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the fresh tomatoes and continue cooking until they begin to break down, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, wine, Ricard, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over a high flame, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down substantially, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently throughout.
  • Add the fish bones and enough water so that the bones are covered. Stir while the stock simmers for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Let cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Before using, skim the surface of any impurities that rise to the top.
  • Reheat the zuppa in a stock pot over a medium flame until gently simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fish pieces and cook for about 6 minutes; the fish should be well cooked and flaky. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Add the chopped parsley just before serving, and drizzle with a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.