A flavorful and aromatic broth lays the foundation for a delicious seafood soup made with white fish, scallops, shrimp and mussels. For as elegant and impressive as this soup is, it’s also very quick and easy to pull together—making it great for the holidays, Sunday night dinners, or even last-minute get-togethers. Serve with crusty bread or croutons for a crunchy finish.
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Why We Love This Recipe
If you love all kinds of seafood and fish, then this soup is for you! It’s light, flavorful and filling enough to be a meal all on it’s own—especially if you serve it with croutons or crusty bread. This fish stew is definitely a year-round recipe, but I especially love to serve it during the holidays and for Christmas Eve.
This soup is refined and elegant, but also incredibly quick to cook and easy to prep. Plus, the veggies can be prepped up to 3 days ahead of time, which will save you time once you get to cooking.
Watch: How to Make Seafood Soup
Fennel (both the bulb and the fronds), onion, leeks and celery are the veggie-base for this soup. Be sure to clean the leeks very well before cooking with them.
Garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and parsley are the flavor enhancers. We prefer to use fresh herbs, but we offer measurements for dried herbs as well.
Dry white wine (such as Sauvignon blanc or Pinto Grigio), clam juice, seafood stock and lemon juice make up the flavorful broth. You can find clam juice near the canned fish. Find seafood stock in the broth and stock section, or next to the canned fish. Or be an overachiever and make your own using shrimp shells.)
Fish & Seafood
We’re using a combination of firm white fish (such as cod, haddock, halibut, red snapper, or sea bass), mussels or clams, scallops and shrimp. For the shrimp, we recommend using medium (41/50 count) or medium-large (36/40 count).
If you’re a clam-lover, be sure to check out our Clam Pasta!
Test Kitchen Tips
- If you have quite a bit of the soup leftover, I recommend only reheating what you’re going to eat. The more times you reheat the soup, the more over-cooked the fish and seafood will become. Reheat seafood soup on the stove top over medium—bring to a low simmer then remove from heat and serve. Avoid bringing to a boil as this will over-cook the fish and seafood.
- We suggest pairing this seafood soup with crispy white wines such as: Voigner, Pinot Gris or Assyrtiko.
What to Serve with Seafood Soup
Fill out the menu with any of these stellar side dish recipes.
- We love a little potato action with this soup, and out Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Capers & Frico are always a hit.
- Our Simple Fennel Salad pairs wonderfully with any kind of seafood, but especially this soup. Plus, it only requires 3 ingredients!
- Our Easy Roasted Green Beans are a no-brainer here! Easy and delicious.
- Whip up a batch of our Milk Bread Rolls a day in advance. The fluffy rolls are a great way to soak up the seafood broth.
- Keep this meal super light and healthy and serve the soup with our Grain-Free Nut & Seed Bread.
- We love to serve our Creamy Cucumber salad with this seafood soup.
- Our simple yet versatile Savory Citrus Salad brings sweet, savory flavors as a side dish.
- Add Healthy Skillet Cornbread as a classic, comforting side to any soup recipe.
- Stir in cream or coconut milk at the end for a creamy fish soup.
- Add a pinch of saffron with the other herbs, and feel free to finish the soup with a variety of fresh herbs.
- Use salmon instead of, or in addition to, the firm white fish and other shellfish. Add the salmon to the soup prior to the other fish and seafood, cook for about 2 minutes before adding the rest of the fish/seafood.
- Add a can of diced tomatoes for a tomato-based broth.
- Instead of croutons, serve over rice.
- Add potatoes—cut red potatoes into a ½-inch dice. Add potatoes to the pot right before adding the broth; simmer in the broth until fork-tender.
Seafood soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Seafood soup should not be frozen.
You’re likely thinking of a bisque which is a thick, rich soup most often made of puréed seafood and cream. Vegetables are occasionally part of the mix but are always puréed (unlike chowder which leaves them in chunks). If you’re looking to try a Seafood Bisque recipe, check out our Shrimp Bisque!
Feel free to swap the mussels for clams or try adding some lobster tail meat instead of scallions.
Stews tend to be much heartier and thicker than soup.
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
- 1 small white onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 large celery ribs, diced (¾ cup)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc
- 4 cups low-sodium seafood stock or chicken broth
- 8 ounces bottled clam juice
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 pound firm white fish,* cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound medium (41-50 count) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound scallops, feet removed
- 1 pound mussels or clams
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Crusty bread or ciabatta croutons for serving *
- Halve leek lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices; transfer to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Shimmy leek slices around in water; let rest 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider (or hands) strain leeks from water, being careful not to kick up dirt at bottom of bowl.
- Heat butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add leek, fennel, onion, and celery; season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 8–10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
- Deglaze with wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth, 4 cups water, clam juice and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
- Season white fish with salt and pepper.
- Stir in shrimp and mussels, then arrange fish and scallops on top of stew, cover, reduce heat to medium-low (if your stove runs hot, reduce the heat to low), and simmer until mussels open and fish, scallops and shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, and lemon juice; season with salt to taste (at least 1 teaspoon, I add 1 ½ teaspoons)
- Off heat, stir in a tablespoon of butter or drizzle servings with olive oil (optional).