The recipes for fish soups, in Italy and the world, are as countless as the many towns and villages that overlook the sea. Each community has its own soup to propose, with different fish and heterogeneous flavors. Their common link is the cooking method that consists of cooking the catch in a liquid together with the ingredients available at a given time.


The poor dish of fishermen

Fish soup was and still is today the fisherman’s dish. Most often they cooked the “poorest” fish for their own sustenance, while they took the most profitable fish to market. That’s how these traditional soups were born.
In Italy, all across the north and central Adriatic coasts, from Trieste to Puglia, you will find the so-called brodetti (broths), with characteristic territorial variations, which in the rest of Italy retain the name of soups.
Some of these broths can be served both as first courses and as unique dishes. The first are liquid broths with small pieces of cut fish, while in the second case, the fish can be whole or cut into large pieces with less broth.
Obviously, the ideal accompaniment for these recipes is bread, which can be fresh, stale or toasted. It is often rubbed with fresh garlic to give the typical aroma.
The ideal is to season fish soup with Evo oil produced near the fishing and preparation areas.
The most suitable fish for making fish soups are: redfish, dory, snapper, angler, squid, cuttlefish, scallops, scampi, shrimp, Penaeus shrimp, etc.

A classic Italian fish soup


Water for broth    as much as needed
Assorted fish for soup    1500 g
Mussels    500 g
Clams     500 g
10 toasted bread slices    250 g
Celery    100 g
Carrots    100 g
Onions    100 g
Peeled tomatoes    100 g
White wine    100 g
Evo oil    50 g
Chopped parsley    10 g
2 garlic cloves    6 g
3 bay laurel leaves
Fine salt and pepper    to taste



Follow These 4 Steps to Start

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Clean the fish and cut it into even pieces. With the bones, carapaces, carrots, celery, half onion, bay leaves and water, prepare a broth.

In a casserole dish apart, sauté the garlic in its skin and chopped onion in Evo oil. Add the mollusks (squid, octopus, cuttlefish, etc.) and add white wine. Cook until they are tender, adding broth if necessary.

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Add the peeled tomatoes and brown for a few minutes. Cover with broth and bring to a boil. Add the crustaceans to the soup, as well as the remaining fish, mussels and clams previously opened in a pan and shelled. Also pour in the filtered broth of the mussels and clams. Cook for 10 more minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Five minutes before turning off the flame, remove garlic cloves. Place the toast on the bottom of the bowl and pour the soup over it. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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How Much Do You Know…?

Which of these dishes is NOT a fish soup?

Bouillabaisse alla marsigliese is an ancient soup, perhaps of Greek origins, born, like the other soups of the Mediterranean, to use the unsold fish from the catch. The four indispensable fishes for making bouillabaisse are: redfish, mullet, gurnard and conger eel.