What to do with some fish (in our case crab) stock left over from the summer months when looking for a great winter meal around Christmas time? Create a simple fish stew. This one was taken from Mark Bittman in NYTimes Cooking, and we focused on just a few of the fish that we could find fresh at the local seafood market, but the additions could easily be expanded. The stock is key so make sure you create your own or get a good one from the store.

For this you’ll need: 3 cups fish stock, x1 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes, 1/4 lb salmon, 1/4 lb halibut, 1/2 lb scallops (or you can add/use shrimp, clams, mussels, etc), x2 carrots (chopped), x6-8 small potatoes (cut into 1/2″ pieces), x1 leek (chopped), 1/2 onion (chopped), x4 cloves garlic (chopped), 1/2 tsp saffron, 1/2 tsp fennel seed, 1/2 tsp celery seed, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Put some oil into a dutch oven – enough so that the bottom is fully covered – and place over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, potatoes, onions and leeks and stir to combine. Cook over medium until glistening – about 2-3 minutes.

Add stock, tomatoes, fennel seed, celery seed, saffron and salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let simmer, uncovered, for about 20 mins so that the broth thickens.

Add seafood and stir well until cooked through (usually about 5 mins for the fish, but at least until the shellfish open for the mussels and clams). Let the soup stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with crusty bread.

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