Northwest Fireside Celebration Seafood Soup with Winter Greens and Chicken Italian Sausage
Yield: 4 to 6
As a chef, I consider our region one of the richest and most satisfying in the world. (And I've worked in quite a few other places!) We have vibrant crops, vast grazing lands, bountiful seafood, fabulous wines and so many reasons to celebrate our local resources.
This soup was inspired by an amazing Spanish Basque chef I met in Paris a number of years back. (He, by the way, envied my Northwest home!) Redolent with wine and garlic, it also utilizes our gorgeous local leeks, delicious mussels and clams, leafy greens and a somewhat unexpected but important addition: Italian sausage! PCC brand sausages are custom ground for us by Mondo's right here in Seattle. They are our exclusive recipe and definitely (as you might expect) superior quality. Traditionally this dish calls for pork sausage, but I have lightened it by using our Chicken Italian Sausage, bursting with fennel and spices! The beautiful thing about this soup is that it literally can be prepared in less than 30 minutes and is absolutely gorgeous with its knockout, vibrant colors! What a perfect way to celebrate the season!
- 8 ounces (2 links) PCC Chicken Italian Sausage (mild or spicy!) Add to list
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling Add to list
- 1 organic leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced Add to list
- 4 to 6 cloves organic garlic, chopped Add to list
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed Add to list
- 1 teaspoon thyme Add to list
- 1 cup Washington state white wine Add to list
- 2 cups clam nectar, chicken or vegetable broth Add to list
- 14.5 ounce can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes Add to list
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Add to list
- 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and "beards" removed (see note) Add to list
- 1/2 pound clams, scrubbed Add to list
- 1 pound firm-fleshed fish in season, cut into chunks Add to list
- 2 cups chopped organic winter greens (chard, kale, collards — any variety you love!) Add to list
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh organic basil Add to list
- Good vinegar for drizzling Add to list
- Chopped parsley for garnish Add to list
Remove the casings from the sausage. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is lightly browned (about 4 to 5 minutes). Remove the sausage and its cooking juices from the pan.
Place the pot back on the stove and heat the olive oil over medium heat until the surface begins to move. Add the leeks, garlic, fennel seed and thyme to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the leeks are tender. Add the white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the clam juice, chicken or vegetable broth, tomatoes and the sausage with its juices. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and then taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper.
Add the mussels, clams and any other seafood you would like. Toss in the greens and basil. Bring the mixture back to a simmer over medium heat, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the clams and mussels pop open. (Discard any that do not open.)
Spoon the soup into heated bowls, top with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of your favorite vinegar. Scatter with chopped parsley.
Most mussels have what is commonly called "the beard," also known as byssal threads. The "beard" on a mussel is comprised of many fibers used to attach the mussel to rocks, pilings, so on. To remove the beard, using a dry towel, grasp the beard and give a sharp yank out and toward the hinge end of the mussel.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on January 21, 2012.
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.