12 littleneck or Manila clams
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
14 ounces canned, no-salt-added diced tomatoes, plus their juices
3 cups homemade or no-salt-added fish stock
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt (optional), depending on the saltiness of your fish stock
8 ounces peeled and deveined large (raw) shrimp
1 pound skinless halibut fillet, cut into 1½-inch chunks
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Soak the clams in a deep bowl of cold water for 1 hour, so they can discharge any grit. Discard any clams that do not close when gently tapped.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste until well incorporated, then add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high; bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, and the fish stock; once the mixture returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the ingredients have melded and the mixture has slightly thickened. Add the pepper, then add salt if needed. (At this point, the soup base can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
Lift the clams out of the water to drain them. Add to the soup base; cover and cook until the clams begin to open, 5-7 minutes. Gently stir in the shrimp and fish. Increase the heat to medium; once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, just until the shrimp and fish are just opaque and all of the clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and any unopened clams.
Divide among individual wide, shallow bowls. Garnish with the parsley; serve hot with a hunk of crusty Italian bread.
Serves six to eight.
Nutrition values per serving (based on 8): 180 calories, 4 g fat (0 saturated), 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 22 g protein, 80 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium,
Ellie Krieger for The Washington Post