Adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook
about 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1 large leek, rinsed thoroughly and chopped
1 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups canned tomato puree
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
2 bay leaves
4-6 cups water or stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 6 tablespoons butter mixed with 1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 heaping teaspoon saffron threads
an assortment of fish such as:
cherrystone or manila clams, scrubbed
raw shrimp, shells removed
crab, shells cracked & broken apart
fish--sea bass, snapper, cod or salmon--cleaned and cut bite-sized
lobster, cut into pieces
Prepare seafood and set aside.
Saute the vegetables and garlic in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, about 30 minutes.
Add the tomato puree, fresh chopped tomatoes, wine, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust seasonings, adding 1 tablespoon brown sugar and water if necessary.
Mix 3-6 tablespoons of softened butter (depending on how rich you like it) with 1 tablespoon flour into a smooth paste.
Whisk into simmering soup and add a heaping teaspoon of saffron threads.
Add the seafood and gently cook for about 5 minutes or until the clams have opened, the fish is firm and the shrimp is pink and curled. Do not overcook. Garnish with basil, parsley or chives.
Ladle into warm bowl and serve with a green salad, hot rice or bread.