In a large pot, sauté the onions, green bell pepper, and celery (the “trinity”) in a small amount of olive oil until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Push the vegetables to one side of the pot. In the cleared space, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Cook until it reaches a light brown color, then combine with the vegetables.
Stir in the tomato paste and let it brown for a few minutes before blending with the roux and vegetables.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes and seafood stock. Stir well, making sure to scrape up any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot.
Season with Creole seasoning and Italian herbs. Add bay leaves and let the mixture simmer for about one hour.
If the stew becomes too thick, add water to maintain the desired consistency.
Season the catfish fillets with Creole seasoning and cut into 1-inch pieces. Gently stir into the stew, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and green onions, then cover again and let sit for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve hot over rice with a side of French bread. Enjoy your dive into a classic Southern dish that’s sure to comfort and satisfy!