Seafood cioppino is this amazing soup/stew that you can find in San Francisco, among other places, but that's the best I've had - specifically at Scoma's! They partner it with delicious sourdough and it comes in a massive bowl with oodles of fresh seafood.
I decided to try and mimic this and found a recipe by Giada, one of my favorite celebrity chefs! This recipe came out great - it was faster than I thought to make as well, maybe because I chopped up some of the vegetables the night before to save some time. I modified the seafood that was used and a few of the ingredient measurements, but followed it otherwise.
Below is my version of the recipe. Her original can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/cioppino-recipe.html. The great thing about this is that you can freeze the leftover broth and throw in some fresh seafood at a later time - can't wait to have this again! Enjoy!
Note: The below recipe was for 2 people, saving two batches of the broth. If you'd like to serve it all to a group of 4 or so, I'd double the amount of seafood.
4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tb split out for scallops
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 (26 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice (I used San Marzano)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups seafood stock
1 bay leaf
1/3 lb fresh halibut, cut into chunks (I cut into approx 1-2 inch chunks)
1/2 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 lb fresh sea scallops, cut in half if large
Heat 3 tb oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, seafood stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, I decided to brown my scallops to give them more flavor. In a small saute pan, use the 1 tb olive oil and set it to high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops and place in the pan. Brown the scallops on each side about 3 minutes, and then set aside on a plate to cool.
Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, stirring gently, about 5 minutes. Add the scallops and stir for another minute. Remove bay leaf. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. After eating all of the seafood, you can freeze the remainder of the broth.