Bouillabaisse Inspired Fish Stew

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 onion; diced
2 sticks celery; sliced
2 turkish (or 1 California) bay leaves
1 teaspoon anise seed
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon saffron fronds
1 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic; crushed
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (I used Amore brand)
1 cup dry wine (I used a sauvignon blanc but have used red when that is all that was on hand)
4 cups tomatoes (I used Pomi brand)
4 cups shrimp broth (peels from1 lb shrimp simmered in 4 cups water  for 5 minutes and shells strained out)
1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste
3-4 potatoes; peeled and diced
4-5 lb fish (cut to 1 1/2 inch pieces) and seafood combo (I used shrimp, scallops, pollock and tuna)
salt to taste

In a large soup pot saute onion and celery with olive oil over medium heat until tender and onion becomes slightly translucent. Add The herbs and spices, garlic, tomato paste and wine then allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, shrimp broth, red pepper flakes and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add the fish and seafood, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt to taste. I served this with fresh bread, cheese, quince paste and an arugula salad with a lovely wine.


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