Dad’s Fish Stew


My father has been making this soup for several years now. It is incredibly easy to make, given how tasty the results.

The key ingredient is the clam juice, though I have prepared it for people with shellfish allergies substituting the clam juice with white wine, fish stock, or water. It works, just not quite as tasty.

Works well with white fish, though firmer is better. My favorites are cod or halibut for this stew. You can also use tilapia.

Dad's Fish Stew

Dad’s Fish Stew Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped tomato (about 1 medium sized tomato)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 8 oz of clam juice (or shellfish stock)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 1/2 lb fish fillets (use halibut, cod, red snapper, or sea bass), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Touch of dry oregano, Tabasco, thyme, pepper
  • Salt


1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté 4 minutes. Add parsley and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, and gently cook for 10 minutes or so.

2 Add clam juice, dry white wine, and fish and simmer until fish is cooked through, less than 10 minutes. Add seasoning. Salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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Dad's Fish Stew

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Showing 4 of 134 Comments

  • Susan

    This smells and tastes delicious. I did add celery and carrots to the first step. I added extra tomato paste (you could use a small can) I added sea salt, and a pinch of red pepper. I didn’t have tobacco or thyme. Sooooo good! Served w/ bread only.

  • susan

    This was fabulous! Hard to believe something so quick and easy could be so delicious. It took no time to make. This recipe is a keeper. Love it! My thanks to your dad.

  • Teresa

    Though I started out using just the ingredients listed, I quickly digressed to my standard – a little of this; a little of that; adding whatever I happen to have on hand.

    That said – the stew was delicious, hearty — super quick and easy to make!

    I rarely cook using exact measurements. Below is my recollection of how the recipe progressed from originally posted. I didn’t have tomato paste, used canned diced tomatoes, added diced celery (2-3 hearts), Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. anchovy paste, ~1 T “better than broth” chicken bouillon, ~1 c. water, 2 bay leaves, and fennel seed.

    Started w/ ~ 1.5 lbs. mahi fillets that my son caught last fall. Added leftover wahoo & mahi (previously cooked/frozen/thawed) and 2 small lobster tails. Likely a total of 2.5 lbs fish (hence the extra water & chicken bouillon). The fennel seed (~1/2 tsp.) added to the complexity of the broth – giving it a nice after taste.

    Served w/ a crusty demi loaf (from Panera) sliced thinly to soak up the broth. My husband and I enjoyed it immensely. Will definitely make again. Next time may add mussels. Thank you for sharing – your dad’s recipe is a keeper!!

  • Katherine

    Tried this today and it is wonderful!! Years ago I had a fish stew at a party and just before the fish was cooked, they cracked eggs and floated them on top of the stew with the pot covered until the eggs were done. Sounds weird but actually is good! I tried it with this stew and it was awesome!! Will be having this stew again soon!!!

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