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Eating well

November 28, 2017

Mark McEwan’s seafood stew

Making your own fish stock for this bouillabaisse-inspired dish makes it healthy for the whole family – even if you’re living with diabetes.

Canadian chef Mark McEwan’s healthy, East Coast version of the classic French bouillabaisse, with 4 kinds of seafood, will warm you up on a cold day. Use a mandoline if you have one to julienne the vegetables quickly and evenly.

Serves 4.


  • 2 quarts (2 L) fish stock (see below)
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) olive oil
  • ½ medium carrot, julienned
  • ½ yellow or 1 small white onion, julienned
  • ¼ fennel bulb, julienned
  • ½ leek, white part only, julienned
  • ½ clove garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small, oil-preserved red chili, sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup (125 mL) white wine
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced tomato
  • 1 can baby clams, drained 142 g can
  • ½ lb. (250 g) white fish such as cod or haddock, cut in cubes
  • ½ lb. (250 g) Atlantic salmon, cut in cubes
  • 4 large scallops, halved crosswise
  • 1 tbsp. (150 mL) chopped parsley
  • 8 slices of baguette, toasted

Fish stock

  • 2 lb. (1 kg) white fish bones (such as halibut, sole, turbot, flounder), rinsed and chopped
  • ½ Spanish onion, sliced
  • 1 small leek, white part only, sliced
  • 16 parsley stems
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
  • 8 cups (2 L) cold water


  1. First, make the fish stock. Combine all stock ingredients in a heavy-bottomed, non-aluminium stock pot. Add the cold water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for an hour or so, skimming scum from the surface as it rises. Strain out and discard solids, and keep at a simmer.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and begin to sauté the carrots and onions.
  3. As soon as they begin to soften – in 2 to 3 minutes – add the fennel, leek, garlic, chili, thyme and bay leaf. Do not allow the vegetables to brown at all – as soon as they begin to wilt, deglaze with the pan with the wine and then season with pepper.
  4. Add the fish stock, tomatoes, clams and fish, then cover the pot and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Add the scallops, cover again and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Warm 4 individual serving bowls, place 2 slices of toasted baguette in each bowl and ladle soup over toast. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Nutrition per serving (using fish stock made according to the recipe):

Calories 520
Fat 17g
Saturated fat 3g
Cholesterol 75mg
Sodium 510mg
Carbohydrate 38g
Fibre 5g
Sugars 6g
Protein 38g

Are you at risk of having pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes?

Healthy eating is one way to reduce the chance you will get diabetes. Take the CANRISK test to estimate your chance of developing type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet at the level of diabetes). Knowing your risk level can help guide your diet choices and inform your conversations with your doctor.

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