David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

A Variation on Provençal Seafood Stew

Seafood defines the coastline cuisine in Provence after all this is a place where Marseille proudly boasts about the Bouillabaisse Charter. It is also where you can buy seafood of every description in the Martigues market, and the fishmongers can tell you the names of the ugliest fish in (or out of) the sea.

David says it was fortuitous that he received a bottle of Whispering Angel rosé at the same time as a recipe for Provençal Seafood Stew appeared in the New York Times. The following is the Cocoa & Lavender adaptation of a classic stew or soup from Provence.

Provençal Seafood Stew @CocoaandLavender

Provençal Seafood Stew

This recipe from Cocoa & Lavender was adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1/4 cup oil-cured olives pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 Anchovy fillets finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • large pinch piment d’Esplette or chile flakes
  • 6 oz Spinach
  • 2 cups fish or shrimp stock
  • 5 oz cod sliced
  • 8 oz Squid roughly chopped
  • 8 oz medium shrimp shelled and deveined
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon


  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When hot, add bread crumbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re crisp and toasted, 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet; increase heat to medium-high.
  • When oil is hot, add shallot, olives, capers and anchovies.
  • Cook, stirring, until fragrant - a minute or two.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until it darkens slightly – about 2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, stirring until it starts to release its water; add the stock and chickpeas.
  • When it returns to a gentle boil, stir in the cod, squid, and shrimp.
  • Cook until the seafood is just cooked through, 3-5 minutes.
  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the stew and stir a couple of times.
  • Divide among bowls, sprinkle with bread crumbs and serve.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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