1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons finely-chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano (not Mexican), rubbed between your palms
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 (8-ounce) jars bottled clam juice, shaken well
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (I use a dry vermouth)
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, and deveined*
1 to 1 1/2 pounds uncooked fresh sea scallops (remove the muscle along the side of each scallop)
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (lay leaves on top of each other, roll into a log, and thinly slice)
Tabasco Sauce (optional)**
* Costco and other well-stocked grocery stores have very good, large frozen shrimp that are peeled and deveined. All you need to do is thaw and pull off the tails.
** I always have a bottle of Tabasco Sauce at the table for those guests who love Tabasco with seafood.
When fresh crab is available in your area, it makes a nice addition to this soup. I like to use the large meaty pieces from the claws for this soup.
In a large heavy pot with a lid over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion, garlic, oregano, and fennel seeds; saute approximately 8 minutes or until the onion is tender.
Add crushed tomatoes, clam juice, white wine, and red pepper flakes. Increase heat and boil until just slightly thickened, approximately 15 minutes. NOTE: If you like your soup a little thicker, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
At this time, you can cool and refrigerate your soup, if you wish, and proceed later in the day or the next day with the soup.
When ready to proceed, bring soup to simmer. Add the shrimp, scallops, and lemon juice; let simmer approximately 5 to 7 minutes until shrimp is opaque in center and have turned pink. Also soon as the scallops lose their translucence and turn opaque, they are done. Taste and, if you desire, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the basil.
Ladle the soup into large soup bowls and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.