With ample homemade shellfish stock in the freezer, and blustery late-Autumn winds swirling outside, the Mr. figured it was a good day to make seafood soup. With its base of stock and tomatoes, rather than roux and cream, it’s a lighter and healthier soup than cream-based varieties. With bacon and potatoes you might even consider it a chowder.
Russ preps the veggies. Then while those are simmering, he starts chopping the seafood.
Personally I am not a clam fan, so Russ will often make this soup with small bay scallops in place of them, but the supermarket was only carrying the large sea scallops. As a substitution, I almost bought jumbo lump crab meat, but the price was so prohibitive that I succumbed and bought the baby clams.
The following day when we each enjoyed a small serving, it seems I hit the jackpot and got nearly 2 dozen clams in my portion while Russ barely got any. He was thrilled when I spooned them out and dropped them into his bowl. Yes, I’m a good wife… He even reciprocated with a few shrimp pieces into my bowl. Yes, he’s a good husband 😉
While the list of ingredients may seem a bit daunting, it’s actually quite easy to make, especially if you have the homemade seafood stock on hand. (Using a pressure cooker, you can make stock in a little over an hour.) In fact, not only did Russ make this soup, he also made homemade chicken stock and ham stock, all in one afternoon! Makes my heart ❤ proud—and my stomach happy 😉
Russ' Seafood Soup
- 2 strips bacon, finely diced (chill for 10 minutes in the freezer to make it easier to cut; about 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 2 medium bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cups shellfish stock, preferably homemade
- 1 8-oz. can clam juice
- 1 10-oz. can baby clams in juice (or 1/2 lb. bay scallops)
- 1/2-lb. uncooked shrimp, shelled and roughly chopped
- 1/2-lb. cod, roughly chopped
- 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. celery salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 5 dashes Tabasco sauce, or to taste
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
- Place a medium (6- to 8-quart), heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bacon. When it starts to brown in spots, lower the heat to medium and continue to cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon is almost crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Add the vegetable oil, onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and potatoes.
- Add the stock and clam juice to the pot. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the cod, shrimp and clams with their juice and season with the kosher salt, celery salt and pepper.
- Add the Tabasco and Worcestershire. Bring back to a simmer for several minutes until the seafood is opaque.
- Ladle into bowls and serve hot.