Wet winter nights in Vancouver call for hearty and delicious dinners.  Soups hit the spot for me, more often than not.  The flavours simmer, develop and merge.

I love that you don’t have to have an exact recipe. You can use whatever you have in your fridge, freezer and cupboard.  As long as you don’t mind sampling along the way I think you can create simple pleasures in a big pot of soup. I loved the freshness of this soup.  Truth be told, it was anything that would even come close to a “daily catch” as I had everything in the freezer, but you gotta use what you gotta use.

As this came together (before I added the seafood) I thought it needed a little “thickening” up, so I threw in about a handful and a half of rice, just to add to the body of the soup.  Be sure to make some big croutons or crusty bread to sop up all the goodness. You won’t want to leave any behind in the bowl – I guarantee it.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
6 cups chicken broth
bay leaf
1/2 cup short grain rice
1 cup frozen calamari rings
8-10 prawns
1/2 cup small scallops
4 oz red snapper, cut into 2 cm wide strips (be sure it is deboned!)
dash hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up the EVOO, once hot add the thinly sliced fennel.  Allow to soften as it begins to sweat, add garlic.
  2. Allow garlic to saute for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, this will bring out a little more the natural sweetness of them.
  4. Add broth and bay leaf – bring to simmer.
  5. Add rice, simmer for about 20-25 minutes until cooked threw.
  6. Add snapper, 2 minutes later add the rest of the seafood.
  7. Season with hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Garnish with parsley (optional)

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