One of the rainy days last week put me in mood for a soup. The grocery had a sale on Tilapia, so I relied on a fish stew that has been a favorite recipe for years. The recipe changes every time it's made, but is always serious comfort food. This is the latest version I could decipher from the scribblings in our recipe journal.
Rainy Day Fish Stew
6 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomato or 14 oz can of diced tomato, depending on the season
8 oz clam juice
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 lb white fish fillets (tilapia, halibut, cod, sole, sea bass, etc.) cut into 2 inch pieces
Touch of dry oregano, thyme, pepper
Splash of Tabasco
3 tblsp tomato paste (We sometimes use "Italian Style" tomato paste and skip adding oregano and thyme)
1 large potato, diced rather small
One bunch of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Heat oil in a large heavy pot. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add half of the chopped parsley and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, then cook for 2 more minutes.
Add clam juice, lemon juice, white wine, oregano, thyme, pepper and potato. Simmer until potato is cooked through. Add fish and simmer until fish is just falling apart. Ladle into bowls and finish with generous amounts of fresh parsley.
The leftover wine goes well with dinner and stew would not be nearly as delicious without a loaf of crusty bread to eat with it. Our bread, of course, usually comes from Corbo's bakery in Little Italy.
Original recipe from Elise's father.