Fish Stew with Hearbed Toasts


It’s hard to believe this incredibly flavorful fish stew comes together in just half an hour with so little work.  You simply cook the vegetables, herbs, and fish on the stovetop for a few minutes, then finish the dish in the broiler. Toasted bread brushed with butter and served on the side recalls the much more labor-intensive bouillabaisse.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 shallot, minced

3 sprigs thyme

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 can (14.5 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes in juice

8 ounces clam juice

1 pound skinless cod or halibut fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 baguette slices, each cut 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 baguette slices, each cut  1 1/2 inches thick on the diagonal


  1. Heat broiler with rack 8 inches from the heat sources. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.  Add carrot, celery, 1 1/2 tablespoons shallot, and 2 thyme sprigs; season with salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are golden in spots, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and juice; simmer, breaking up tomatoes into bite-size pieces until liquid is mostly evaporated about 5 minutes.  Stir in clam juice and fish; return to a simmer, Remove from heat.
  2. Spread remaining tablespoon butter over bread.  Sprinkle with remaining shallot and thyme leaves; season with salt and pepper.  Place atop fish.  Broil until fish is just cooked through and bread is toasted, about 2 minutes (if the bread is darkening too quickly, move skillet to lower rack).

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