Traditional Cioppino Seafood Soup

Francesca's Chefs Help Wayne with Cioppino Seafood Soup

I wanted to make a seafood dish this week and decided to get a little help from some experts.  I was very fortunate to get tips and instructions from two chefs at Francesca’s Restaurants to make this Cioppino.  I adapted the recipes from Executive Chef Laura Piper and Chef de Cuisine Armando Suarez to create the seafood soup below. 

The nice thing about this recipe is that it comes in three parts.  You can create both the fish stock and tomato base in advance and store them until ready for use.  Both will keep in the refrigerator for a few days or longer in the freezer.  You’ll only need a portion of each for the two serving recipe below.  So, you’ll have some left over for more helpings or other dishes.  Also, if you’re looking for a shortcut, you can substitute a fish stock rather than making your own.
adaption of recipes from Francesca’s Restaurants
Laura Piper, Executive Chef
Arando Suarez, Chef de Cuisine

Fish Stock


4 tbl Butter
2 Onions, chopped
3 Celery Stalks, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, sliced
2 Oregano Sprigs
1/3 cu White Wine
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbl Black Peppercorns
1/2 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped
2 lb Fish Bones
2 quarts Water


Saute vegetables and oregano in butter over a vey low heat until ingredients are soft and tender.  Deglaze the pot with white wine.  Place fish bones on top of the  vegetables and cover to sweat for 10 minutes.  Add cold water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes skimming the top in the process.  Remove the pot from heat and strain.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use or freeze.

Tomato Base


2 tbl Olive Oil
1 lg Onion, diced
2 Scallions, chopped
2 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
2 Carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tbl Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
28 oz can Peeled Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 cu Water
2 cu Fish Stock


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions, scallions, celery, garlic and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes and parsley and stir to combine.  Add tomatoes, water and fish stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for and additional 25-30 minutes.

Cioppino (two servings)

2 tbl Olive Oil
2 cu Tomato Base (recipe above)
1/2 cu Fish Stock (recipe above)
1/2 cu White Wine
4 Clams
4 Mussels
4 Shrimp
2 lg Scallops (or 4 small ones)
1/4lb Red Snapper (or other white fish)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped for garnish


Pour olive oil in saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the seafood and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add tomato base and sauté.  Deglaze pan with white wine.  Add fish stock and bring mixture to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

You can thicken this dish with more tomato base or thin it with additional fish stock depending on our taste.

Many thanks to the chefs at Francesca’s for their advice and tips.  More information about Francesca’s restaurants is available at

If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at

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