* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
* 3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
* 3/4 cup chopped celery
* 1/4 cup chopped fennel
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes and their juices
* 2 cups fish stock
* 1 whole Dungeness crab, quartered
* 1 pound clams, well scrubbed and de-bearded
* 1 pound mussels, well scrubbed and de-bearded
* 1 pound firm fish, such as halibut or snapper, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
* 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
* 1 pint oysters and their juices, picked over for shell
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions, green tops only
* Sourdough bread, accompaniment
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and fennel, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, salt, oregano, red pepper, fennel seeds, thyme, and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine, stir to deglaze the pan, and cook until half of the wine is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add the plum tomatoes and their juices and the fish stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the crab quarters, clams, and mussels, and simmer until the shells open, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard any unopened shells.
Lightly season the fish and shrimp with the Essence, and add to the pot. Add the oysters, and stir. Simmer, covered, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley. Ladle into large soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and green onions.
Serve immediately with hot bread.