After the heavy holiday meals is it so nice to have something lighter. I find that many people have problems eating healthier in the colder months because it can be confusing to find healthy recipes that are still hearty and soul-warming. Which is why January will be devoted to healthy, hearty food that isn't too expensive and can either be made ahead or in about 30 minutes. Just so you know what to look forward to next month.
This soup--or stew-- is delicious and great for the colder months. My influences were French bouillabaisse and the San Franciscan classic, cioppino. My version is a little more on the Spanish side. I hesitate to call it a stew because it doesn't take very long to cook and has a thinner broth more like a soup, but it has big chunks of seafood similar to a stew. I guess semantics aren't important. What is important is how delicious it is! There is bacon in this, but it is still healthy! There is less than one slice of bacon per serving. Also, the flavor is really good and it provides all the fat needed in the dish. If you don't like bacon or don't eat pork, don't worry-- use about 1.5 tsp of olive oil and it will be just as good.
Tomato and Seafood "Stew"
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp flour
1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth (seafood or vegetable works too)
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 C dry sherry
1/2 C dry red wine
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 lb peeled deveined shrimp (medium-ish size)
3/4 lb (skinless) white fish (halibut, cod, or even tilapia)
salt and pepper
lemon wedges and chopped parsely (optional)
good, crusty bread
Cut fish into bite sized chunks, about the same size as the shrimp. Salt and pepper seafood.
In a pot, render bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. Saute onion and pepper until tender. Add garlic and flour. Stir to make sure there are no lumps of flour. Cook about 1 minute. Add wine and sherry. Turn to high. Bring to boil; cook about 2 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring back to a boil. Reduce to medium. Add thyme and pepper flakes. Cook 7-10 minutes, until liquid has reduced a little. Add seafood and cook until done, about 6-8 minutes.
Top with crispy bacon and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and bread.
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