½ pound (about 1½) leeks, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally ½-inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ Tbsp. dried parsley
1 dried bay leaf
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp saffron threads
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 cup homemade tomato sauce
1 cup dry white or red wine –OR– ½ cup pernod, if no fennel
1 seafood bullion cube
4 to 6 ounces large shrimp (16 to 20 count per pound), shelled and deveined
½ pound large scallops
6 ounces firm, light-flesh fish, cut into 1½-inch pieces
In a medium, heavy-bottom pot heated over medium-high heat, add the oil, then stir in the onions, leeks, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, pepper and saffron. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the herbs are fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add wine or pernod and cook off a bit.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and seafood bullion cube. Cover and simmer gently to develop the flavors, 30 to 45 minutes. The cioppino base can be made ahead of time to this point; remove from heat, cover and refrigerate up to one day (reheat before continuing).
Add seafood based on cooking time. Serve over pasta, rice or with bread.