Fish Stew

I ❤️ Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. Every time I do a google search for a recipe and Elise’s website pops up in my browser, I know I have to look no further.

The other day I bought some cod pieces at Trader Joe’s. I was planning on making them for my dog, who has diabetes. One night I checked his blood sugar and it was 43. Unsure if my meter was working, I took him to my vet where his blood sugar was 38. We fed him there and they gave him some sort of topical sugar solution that they rubbed on his gums and his blood sugar went down to 21. I was directed to take him to the emergency room. His blood sugar was unreadable by the time I got there. One overnight stay later, his blood sugar had shot back up to beyond normal amounts and the vet(s) and I puzzled over what had caused his dip. I was given strict orders to feed him the same thing both meals. No deviations. Well. There went my plans to feed him fish because I had been feeding him ground turkey prior to that.

Enter a need to do something with the two pounds of cod I had purchased. I thought about making fish sticks (or fish bites because the pieces of cod did not resemble sticks in any way). But that seemed too time consuming and most likely not all that healthy. Then my mind wandered over to fish stew, which I’ve made once before but not recently. It’s winter here in SoCal (and this year it seems like actual winter with temperatures holding steady in the 60s during the day versus the 70s or 80s of years past) so I thought stew would be an appropriate choice for a meal. Get me some crusty bread for my stew and I’m good to go.

Enter Elise’s dad’s recipe for fish stew, which was perfect because it called for cod and I already had most the ingredients. Plus you can’t go wrong with her recipes. I promise!


  • 6 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • ⅔ c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 14.5-oz can of whole or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • ¾ c. dry white wine (I had an open bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and used that)
  • approximately 2 lb fish fillets (firm white fish such as halibut, cod, red snapper, or sea bass), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Pinch of dry oregano
  • Pinch of dry thyme
  • Hot sauce to taste (I used Sriracha)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant and soft (approximately 10 minutes), add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add parsley and stir. Add tomato and tomato paste, and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes or so breaking up the tomatoes if you are using whole tomatoes.
  2. Add clam juice, dry white wine, and fish. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add seasoning and hot sauce. Serve immediately. Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings depending on your appetite.


I’m really not sure why the smell of fish gets such a bad rap. I get that it’s a faux pas to heat or reheat fish while you’re at work. I mean, I get it. But I realized tonight that I actually love the smell of fish. When this soup was simmering away on my stove I kept thinking … Mmm – love the smell of this stew, in particular, the fish!

Here’s what happens to me when I eat stew or soup that pairs well with crusty bread (and what stew/soup doesn’t?): I end up eating bread and butter for dinner. Bread and butter dunked in the broth of the stew/soup. And that’s exactly what I did tonight. I won’t tell you the exact amount of bread slices I ate tonight, but I will tell you it was somewhere between two and four. OK. It was four. I had cut four slices of bread for my dad and I to enjoy and my dad did not partake in the bread. So what was a girl to do besides eat all four slices? For that reason, I didn’t eat much of the stew (other than the broth). But I had a few bites in between dunking my bread, and I will tell you that it was mighty good.

My dad thought the soup was spicy and asked why so (Sriracha sauce-I put a hefty squirt into the soup). I had to add what seemed like a ton of salt to the stew. I love salt though so maybe you won’t need as much.

At any rate, this is the perfect stew for winter. The perfect recipe to use if you need to use up an overabundance of fish. And it is so simple to make!

Recipe rating: 


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