So, apparently back in the old days, when the Italian fishermen would come in from their day of work on the water, they'd all sit around by the docks, hungry, and decide to put together a little of this and a little of that from their nets to make a big pot of Cioppino! Only my belle mere would know this story, and she told us a few weeks ago when we made this very dish in honor of her birthday. I had 11 around the long table - no easy task in our small dining room. We were stretched almost to the kitchen!
And even Wikipedia corroborates the story: the name derived from the heavily Italian-accented cry of the wharf cooks for the fishermen to "chip in" some of their catch to the collective soup pot.
Below, our nephew Casey, stirs our day's catch. The green sprig in the background is from fennel bulbs which were diced and sauteed with shallots and onions to make the base. It turned out great...recipe here.