Cioppino: The little Soup that could


How do you shop for grocery? Do you go to market with a meal plan in mind? or let what you find at the market decide what you cook?  For me, I usually go with a recipe in mind; however, now and then I would pick up something that is not on my list because it is too good of a deal to pass up or because it looks very fresh.  Two weeks ago I bought 2 pounds of frozen seafood medley because the packaging labeled “no preservative” added.   I have been very conscious of buying additives-and-preservative-free products.  Last night dinner was a version of San Francisco- style  Cioppino (“chuh-pee-noh”) served with sourdough. The flavorful tomatoes based broth was a true delight.   There is just one way to describe this meal.  Yum-oh!  All my family members raved about it except for one little person  who couldn’t bring himself to chew on “things with tentacles.”

I adapted Saveur’s Cioppino recipe for last night dinner. Instead of 2 cups of oil. I used 4 tablespoons to cook the vegetables and another 4 tablespoons to quick stir-fried the seafoods before adding to the bubbling tomatoes broth.  The following ingredients were omitted because I didn’t have on hand or just didn’t want to add in (like butter):  bell-pepper, leeks, fennel bulbs, crab meats, scallops, halibut fillets, cayenne.  Still the stew came out quite delicious and refreshing because this “little soup,”  ciuppin, is traditionally cooked with left over seafood and whatever vegetables (but must have tomatoes). There are many versions of Cioppino online or cookbooks, but I am very happy with this version.


  • 118 milliliters ( 8 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 454 grams Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons  tomatoes paste
  • 4 bay leaves, washed
  • 14.3 grams (1 tablespoon) fresh oregano, cleaned  or 4.7 grams (1 teaspoon) dried oregano
  • 9.4 grams (2 teaspoons) fresh thyme, cleaned  or 4.7 grams (1 teaspoon) dried thyme
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 236 milliliters (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 946 milliliters( 4 cups) water
  • 908 grams (2 pounds) frozen seafood medley, thawed
  • Parsley, washed and chopped, for garnish.


  1. Place a large pot or pan over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Let the oil warm up a little.
  2. Add in onions and cook for about 2 minutes, stir constantly so it won’t burn.
  3. Add in chopped carrots and celery let the mixture cook for 5 minutes, stir to keep content from burn.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, sugar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring all the content to a broil over high heat, cover with lid, and let it simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour.
  6. In a different large skillet, place it over medium-high heat, and add in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic.  Stir constantly and let the content cook until it begin to fragrant.
  7. Add in the thawed seafood, stir for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour in half the white wine, and let it cooks 3 minutes.
  9. Bring the tomatoes mixture back to a broil (bubbling), and transfer the seafood content into the pot with tomatoes mixture.
  10. Add in the rest of the white wine and let it cooks for 3 minutes.  Seasons with salt and pepper if needed.
  11. Turn off heat, ladle Cioppino to serving bowl, garnish with parsley

Serve this delicious Cioppino hot  with sourdough toast, rustic-style bread, or baguette.

Buon Appetito!

6 comments on “Cioppino: The little Soup that could

  1. Yum, this looks awesome! I am such a sucker for cioppino– if it appears on a restaurant menu, I’m normally blind to the possibility of ordering anything else! (This also makes me even more excited for the sourdough starter that we are currently in the process of starting in my house 🙂 )

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