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Christmas Eve Seven Seafood Soup

Valerie Fanning | Forest Way


Photo Valerie Fanning.
Click on image to enlarge.

On December 24th, Italian families all over the world gather together for La Viglia di Natale--the Christmas vigil--where fish is on the menu instead of meat. Also called The Feast of the Seven Fishes, the ritual of La Viglia has been handed down from generation to generation over the centuries. Our family makes this ‘cioppino-style’ soup with the seven seafoods in the one pot instead of seven separate seafood dishes which is the tradition.
(Serves 4)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil - Freskos
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced – Schaner Farms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, chopped – Schaner Farms
  • 1 large shallot, chopped – Schaner Farms
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes – Kawano Farms Valdivia Farms - Blue Heron Farms
  • 1 (32 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon each of fresh basil, oregano, and thyme – Schaner Farms
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley – Schaner Farms - Blue Heron Farms
  • 1-1/2 pounds firm-textured white fish (John Dory or Halibut), cut into 2-inch chunks – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound clams, scrubbed – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • 1 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into tubes – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • 1 pound scallops – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • 2 lobster tails cut in half in shell
  • 1 pound peeled large shrimp – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed – Dry Dock Fish Company
  • 1 loaf crusty bread – French Bakery Le Rendez-Vous

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaf. Sauté the mixture 6-8 minutes. Add the onion and shallots. Sauté the vegetables 10-12 minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add the wine, broth, fresh and canned tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to medium-low, cover and cook 15-20 minutes. Season the fish chunks with salt and pepper. Add the fish chunks and clams to the mixture and simmer 5 minutes. Stir gently without breaking up the pieces of fish. Add the squid, scallops, lobster, shrimp and mussels and cover the pot. Cook 10 minutes or until all of the clams and mussels open. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty Italian bread.

Serve over fresh fettuccini – Pasta Design
Grate fresh parmesan on the top – Pasta Design
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the soup – Schaner Farms - Valdivia Farms



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