Tomato-saffron stew

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20 min


4 to 6 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 45 minutes
Tomato-saffron stew

© Royalty-Free/Masterfile


  • 1 orange
  • 796-mL can undrained tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp dried saffron thread
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 500 g boneless fresh or frozen fish fillets , such as haddock, salmon or cod
  • 250 g fresh or frozen shrimp , lobster or scallops
  • 500 g mussels , or clams in the shell
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley , or 1 tbsp dried parsley


  • Slice a piece of orange peel about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and the length of one side of an orange. Briefly whirl tomatoes and juice in a food processor or blender, just until broken up, but not puréed.
  • In a large saucepan or soup pot, stir tomatoes with 4 cups (1 L) water, bay leaf, peel strip and saffron. Place over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, thyme, fennel, salt, celery salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to develop flavor.
  • In a measuring cup, stir flour with 1/3 cup (75 mL) cold water until no lumps remain. After tomato mixture has simmered 15 minutes, slowly add to flour and water mixture while stirring constantly. Continue simmering, uncovered and stirring often, until mixture has thickened and no taste of flour remains, from 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Broth will have a very strong taste, which mellows when seafood is added. If making ahead, remove from heat at this point and refrigerate. Covered, broth will keep well for 3 days.
  • Meanwhile, removing any bones or shells (but not from mussels or clams), cut fish or seafood into bite-size chunks.
  • When ready to serve, remove bay leaf and orange peel from broth. If using clams, stir into hot stew and simmer 10 minutes before adding remaining fish and seafood. Stir fish, seafood, including any mussels and parsley, into simmering stew
  • Simmer, covered and stirring often, until clam or mussel shells have opened, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with more chopped fresh parsley. Serve with a crisp baguette or sourdough bread to dip into the broth.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 172,
  • Protein
  • 24.9 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 13.2 g,
  • Fat
  • 2 g,
  • Fibre
  • 1.8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 595 mg.

At the Innlet Café, they briefly poach a medley of the freshest seafood available in this broth and serve up a steaming stew.

Chatelaine tip

Scrub mussel and clam shells under cold running water before adding to stew. Mussels can be added with other fish and seafood. Clams take longer to cook, so add to the stew 10 minutes before adding remaining fish and seafood.