3/4 cup butter
2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh parsley leaves, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans plum tomatoes undrained and cup up*
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 1/2 cups dry red or white wine (whichever you prefer)
12 small hard-shell clams in shell
12 mussels in shell
1 1/2 pounds raw extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined**
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1 1/2 pounds fish fillets (halibut, cod, or salmon), cut into bite-size chunks
1 1/2 cups flaked Dungeness crab meat
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* To easily cut up the tomatoes, use a sharp knife and cut through the tomatoes while still in the can.
** To add additional flavor, place the shells of the shrimp in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat approximately 7 to 10 minutes. remove from heat and strain the broth; discarding shells. Add shrimp broth to soup broth.
In a large soup pot or cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-low heat, melt butter; add onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Add tomatoes, clam juice, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, and red or white wine; bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. If sauce becomes too thick, thin with additional wine or water.
NOTE: At this point, stock may be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days before using. To use stock that has been refrigerated, reheat to boiling and then reduce heat to low, until broth is simmering gently.
Scrub clams and mussels with a small stiff brush under cold running water; remove beards from mussels. Discard any open clams or mussels. Cover with cold salted water; let stand 5 minutes and then pour off the salted water.
Gently stir in the clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, fish fillets, and crab meat to the prepared stock. Cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams pop open and shrimp are opaque when cut. NOTE: Do not overcook the seafood (the seafood continues to cook after it is removed from the pan). Remove bay leaves; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from from heat and ladle broth and seafood into large soup bowls and serve.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.