Cioppino or Seafood Soup with Three Streams Salmon By Chef Nina Timm

Serves 4


  • 80 ml /¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, chopped – keep the fronds for serving
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 1 large green chili – finely chopped
  • 15 ml / 1 T fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves – I used fresh, but dried ones can also work
  • 330 ml beer or 250 ml white wine
  • 2 x 410 g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 80 g tomato paste
  • 1 liter / 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 500 g mussels – I used about 800 g, because we love them so much
  • 600 g prawns – deveined and shelled
  • 400 g salmon fillet, cut into 3 x 3 cm pieces (for a cheaper but equally delicious alternative, use our trout fillets)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 – 10 ml sugar – optional

For serving

  • the fronds of the fennel bulb
  • Garlicky Crusty toast for serving
  • Wedges of lemons


Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion, chili,  fennel, and garlic and over medium heat sauté until soft and slightly  brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and fennel seeds and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes so that the fennel seeds can release their flavor.

Add the beer, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and adjust the season with salt, sugar and pepper. Simmer this sauce for 10-12 minute, stirring occasionally.

Now add the stock and bring back to a slow simmer. Simmer for 40 – 50 minutes, while you shell and devein the prawns and prepare the mussels and fish. Taste the sauce when it is down cooking and adjust the seasoning.

Turn up the heat and add ONLY the mussels. Put the lid on the pot and cook the mussels for 5 minutes until they just open up. Now add the prawns and the salmon/trout and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The salmon must just be slightly poached. Sprinkle some fennel fronds on top.

Take this pot of goodness straight from the stove to the table and serve with hot garlicky toasted bread Remove from heat and serve right from the pot with crusty bread for dipping.