Tuscan Fish Stew

INGREDIENTS- (Eight people)

– Eight 1/2-inch-thick (1.3-cm) slices country bread

– 4 garlic cloves, chopped, plus 1 whole medium garlic clove, peeled

– 4 cups (960 ml) Fish Stock or canned low-sodium fish or chicken broth

– 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil

– 1 medium red onion, chopped

– 1 very small Italian or other hot chili pepper, seeded

– 2 cups (480 ml) dry white wine

– 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) chopped fresh or canned diced tomatoes

– 1/2 cup (20 grams) chopped fresh Italian parsley

– 1 teaspoon kosher salt

– 3 lbs. (1.4 kilos) assorted firm fish fillets, such as red snapper, monkfish, John Dory, or grouper, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks

– 2 lbs. (908 grams) whole assorted small (4 to 5 inches/ 10 to 13 cm) soft fish, such as baby porgy or mackerel, cut into chunks

– 2 lbs. (908 grams) mussels, preferably Prince Edward Island, scrubbed and debearded

– Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175° C). Rub each slice of bread with the whole garlic clove. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 15 minutes.

Heat the fish stock in a small saucepan until simmering; keep at a gentle simmer.

Place a 7- to 8-quart casserole over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic cloves and onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chili pepper and wine; bring to a simmer until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and salt, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the mixture has begun to thicken slightly and the tomatoes foam up, about 8 minutes.

Pour in the fish stock and then, using a spoon, gently slide the fish in, covering it with the liquid. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and gently simmer until the fish just turns white, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mussels, pressing them down into the liquid, and continue cooking until they open, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard any mussels that do not open. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place a slice of toasted garlic bread in each of eight soup bowls. Spoon the stew on top, being careful not to break up any big pieces of fish. Serve immediately.