Yield
Makes 6 servings

Notes: You can complete soup through step 4 up to 1 day ahead, then cover and chill. Reheat to continue. For a less costly version, omit the lobster tails and increase the shrimp to 1 1/2 pounds.

How to Make It

Step 1

Trim off feathery fennel tops; rinse, drain, wrap airtight, and chill. Trim off and discard base of fennel head, any bruises, and tough stalks. Rinse and thinly slice fennel head.

Step 2

Trim tough tops and roots from leeks; pull off coarse outer layers. Cut tender sections of leeks in half lengthwise, rinse well, and thinly slice.

Step 3

In an 8- to 10-quart pan, combine fennel, leeks, garlic, and oil. Stir often over medium-high heat until vegetables are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Add tomatoes with juice, broth, clam juice, wine, bay leaves, thyme, orange peel, and saffron. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 5

Meanwhile, with scissors, cut fins and sharp spines from lobster tails. Also cut through top shells lengthwise down the center. Set each tail, underside down, on a board. With a heavy knife, slice tails in half lengthwise through cuts in shells. Rinse lobster tails, halibut, shrimp, and scallops.

Step 6

Add lobster, halibut, and shrimp to tomato mixture. Discard any clams or mussels that do not close when shells are tapped. Add clams and mussels to pan; cover and cook 5 minutes. Add scallops. Cover and simmer until mussels and clams pop open, 3 to 5 more minutes.

Step 7

Transfer cioppino to a tureen or ladle into wide bowls. Garnish with green fennel tops.

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