Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cioppino With Crab, Shrimp, And Mussels Served With Fresh Baked French Bread... Made With Leftover Tomato Basil Soup

So, as usual, I made far too much Tomato Basil Soup and we had some shrimp, crab and mussels in the freezer that needed to be used pretty quickly, so I decided to make Cioppino. This truly has to be one of my greatest seafood soup efforts to date. How do I know this? I know this because our son was in town at the time and he doesn't do seafood... and he ate 2 bowls of it. I'd say that's a pretty good indication. Of course, he also polished off a half a loaf of French bread right along with the Cioppino.

I started with the basic Tomato Basil Soup and added about a half a carton of chicken broth (unsalted). I brought it to a boil then turned it down to a simmer to let it reduce a bit. I also added a couple of teaspoons of a product called Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base. This stuff is amazing and also comes in beef and veal and vegetable. I haven't been able to do without it since I found it. It's magical stuff as far as flavor goes. They have a web site at www.superiortouch dot com.

I added some additional chopped fresh parsley, basil, a bay leaf and oregano as well as some extra garlic, because we love garlic. The aroma was simply hypnotic as we both waited in anticipation of our lovely warm bowls of Cioppino. We were not disappointed in any way.

Once the broth had reduced to my satisfaction (each to his own, you know) I timed the addition of the seafood to coincide with the loaf of bread being done. 

This is a great way to extend the Tomato Basil Soup recipe, although with a definite twist. You will not even recognize it but you will enjoy it immensely....