In my Italian family (on my mother's side) we celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes - our first course is fish soup. My grandmother's peasant recipe for fish soup is basically broth, tomatoes, celery, onions and cod. It's yummy but my cousin Jim came up with an even better recipe......sorry Nani, wherever you are but Jim's is better........ I'm not sure if he made it up from combining ingredients out of several recipes or if this was a recipe he found. This one calls for cod and it's great but tonight in addition to cod I added a bag of Trader Joe's blended shellfish (shrimp, bay scallops, calamari rings). It was outstanding but in the future I'll just buy the shellfish I want to add from the fish market - I'm thinking the shrimp, scallops, clams and crab in addition to cod. We have more than enough leftover for tomorrow's game watching.........yum. I hope you try it.........
6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tbs butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tsp Old Bay seasoning
3 tbs fresh chopped cilantro
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I didn't have any tonight so I used a bit less dried)
1 bay leaf
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I didn't have any tonight so used a can of chopped tomatoes)
2/3 cup white wine
2-3 cups fish stock (I used a whole box which was a bit more than 3 cups)
11 oz potatoes, diced
1 1/2 - 2 pounds skinless white fish fillets cut into chunks (I used 1/2 pound cod and a one pound bag of mixed shellfish from Trader Joe's)
Fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain off most of the fat, leave just a little.
Add butter to the pan and cook onion and celery until soft, add garlic and herbs and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, stock and wine and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add potatoes, cover again and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender.
Add chunks of fish and other seafood and bacon pieces. Simmer gently uncovered for 5 minutes or until fish and seafood are cooked.
Garnish with additional fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. You don't have to do this but it really makes the soup.