The Washington Post

Cod Stew With Fennel, Olives and Orange Essence

Cod Stew With Fennel, Olives and Orange Essence 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Nourish Jan 3, 2019

This big, nourishing bowl of comfort food is easy to make, yet it has an unmistakable elegance that makes it as wonderful for everyday eating as it is for serving to company.

To read the accompanying story, see: This one-pot fish stew has a key shortcut.

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 50 mins

Make Ahead: The stew’s base can be refrigerated a day in advance, or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

4 - 5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-5 servings; makes about 9 cups

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, preferably with stalks and fronds
  • 1 navel orange, well scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), diced
  • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed well and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, plus the juices
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless cod fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks


Remove the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb, reserving some of the fronds for garnish. Save the stalks for making stock or discard them. Remove and discard the core and the tough outer layer of the fennel bulb. Coarsely chop the rest of the fennel.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove 2 strips of zest from the orange, measuring 1-by-3 inches, being careful not to include any white pith. Then squeeze half the orange to yield 3 tablespoons of juice, reserving it to add later.

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and stir to coat; cook until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped fennel bulb and the garlic; cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomato paste.

Add the tomatoes with their juices, the fish stock, bay leaf, strips of orange zest, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the fennel is tender, about 25 minutes. Discard the strips of orange zest and the bay leaf.

(At this point, the stew base can be cooled, transferred to a covered container and refrigerated a day in advance, or frozen.)

When you are ready to serve, return the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then add the olives and the fish. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Stir in the reserved orange juice and remove from the heat.

Serve hot, garnished with some reserved fennel fronds.

Recipe Source

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (about 1 3/4 cups), based on 5: 250

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 9g 14%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 65mg 22%

Sodium: 600mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 16g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 9g

Protein: 29g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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