In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
Stir in the minced garlic, sliced leek. Cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables have slightly softened.
Add the dried oregano and bay leaf to the pot. Stir to combine and let the flavours infuse for a minute or two.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes, fish or seafood stock, and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that seafood can release some saltiness, so be cautious not to oversalt at this stage.
Once the broth is well-flavoured, add the mussels and clams to the pot. Cover the pot and let them steam for about 5 minutes until they start to open.
Next, add the shrimp, fish chunks, and sliced squid. Gently stir the stew to combine the seafood with the broth. Cover the pot again and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the shrimp are pink and the fish is cooked through.
Remove the bay leaf from the pot, and taste the stew for any final seasoning adjustments.
Serve the Cioppino in large bowls, garnished with fresh basil or parsley. Don’t forget to provide crusty bread on the side for dipping into the flavourful broth.
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