Matt McClain/The Washington Post
The dish is inspired by this classic Mediterranean trio of flavors. The broth is enriched with shrimp shells; the seafood is cooked separately and added at the last minute. The cod really shines here, with the shrimp a supporting player.
You’ll want to serve the soup with crusty bread to soak up the broth.
Makes 8 cups (8 servings)
4 ounces (8 large) raw, shell-on shrimp
2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil
2 medium (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total) fennel bulbs (tough green tops trimmed), cored and cut in half, then cut into thin slices, reserving some fennel fronds for garnish
1 large sweet onion, such as Maui, Mayan, Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into thin slices
2 cups low-sodium tomato juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salted or unsalted butter
8 ounces skinless cod fillets
Peel and devein the shrimp, placing the shells in a medium pot and reserving the deveined shrimp in a bowl.
Add the broth, water and wine to the pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to maintain small bubbles at the edges; cook for 20 minutes. Strain the broth into a large measuring cup, discarding the shrimp shells.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are tender. Add the strained broth and the tomato juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat so the liquid is barely bubbling at the edges; cook for 15 minutes. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the vegetables in the broth; or transfer, in batches, to a blender to puree the vegetables. (If doing the latter, remove the center knob from the lid and place a towel over the opening to allow steam to escape.)
Return the soup to the pot. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil and the butter in a medium nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cod fillets; cook for about 3 minutes on the first side, until lightly browned, then turn them over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are done throughout. Transfer to a plate.
Add the shrimp to the hot pan; cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, then turn them over and cook for about 1 minute, until just opaque.
Divide the soup among individual bowls. Place an equal portion of cod into each bowl, breaking up the fish a bit. Garnish each serving with a sauteed shrimp and some of the fennel fronds.
Nutrition per serving (using salted butter): 120 calories, 10g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar.