Chorizo Cioppino Recipe

Cold weather means snuggling with your special someone, in my case my cat. Cold weather also means lazy weekends and a cup of hot chocolate while wrapped in a blanket. It also means hot soup to warm your body!


What’s one of the best soups around? Cioppino. SF is famous for this because of the abundance of fresh seafood. But going to a restaurant for a bowl of cioppino can sometimes mean a lunch or dinner of $25+. Ouch.

Instead, here’s a recipe so that you can make a HUGE pot of cioppino and eat it for a week for around $40. It’s a great meal by itself, and since you’re making such a large pot of soup, it’s great for dinner parties too (if you’re selfless and want to give up some of your soup!).

If you love seafood, this recipe will make you drool!  It seems like a long list of ingredients, but I promise this recipe is so easy to do and so worth your time.


  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley (minced)
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounce) plum tomatoes (chopped and undrained)
  • 2 bottles (8 ounce) of clam juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cup white or red wine
  • 12 clams (when picking fresh clams, make sure they are closed)
  • 12 mussels when (picking fresh mussels, make sure they are closed)
  • 1 pound of shrimp, head on and unpeeled
  • 1 pound of bay scallops
  • 1 pound of salmon – can substitute halibut or cod
  • 3 packs of chorizo (10 ounce packages)
  • Salt and pepper for tasting


1. Melt the butter in a stock pot. Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, and minced parsley. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).
2. Add both cans of chopped plum tomatoes, clam juice, basil, thyme, oregano, and wine.
3. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. While the stock is simmering, wash the seafood. If there are any mussels or clams that are not tightly close, dispose of them. Also, discard clams and mussels with cracked shells.
5. To clean seafood, soak clams with pepper to get out sand and grit, then let them soak in salt water for 10 minutes. Clean mussels by running through cold water and debeard (pull out the little fuzzies/stringy bits that are stuck on the shell). Rinse the scallops and shrimp in cold running water. I also like to cut off spikes and whiskers from the shrimp. For the salmon, debone and cut into bite sized chunks (easy to understand image below).
6. When your 45 minutes are up. Add chorizo and boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. I find that the chorizo adds a nice spicy and salty kick to the soup, so salt and pepper is not necessary.
7. After 60 minutes have rolled on by, add the seafood into the broth. Boil and reduce heat to low to a simmer for 8 minutes or until clams and mussels are open and shrimp curls up. DO NOT OVERCOOK your seafood or it has a rubbery texture. Remember that seafood continues to cook in the broth after stove is turned off.
8. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls, grab a big spoon, and feast! Don’t forget the toasted bread!

BrothThe color of the broth is so pretty when cooking

SalmonThe bones are located in a horizontal line where my finger is placed. If you lightly push against the meat, you will feel all the bones lined up

Deboned salmonSimply take some tweezers and pull the bones out one by one along the horizontal line

SeafoodAll my seafood rinsed, cleaned, and prepped

Chorizo Cioppino
A mouth-watering meal for the cold days!

If you’re nice enough, you’ll let some friends have a taste of your concoction!

Have you ever had cioppino? What soups are among your favorites?

Enjoy and keep warm,

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