Fish soup



Fish soup is a tasty dish made with fresh fish, a must in the culinary tradition of the Italian maritime regions. Each town overlooking the sea has its own recipe; just think of the famous light broth of Fano, typical clam soup, or simple fish stew. What makes this soup so special is the fish stock with its intense flavor made with the fish leftovers which release all their aromas during the cooking. If you accompany your soup with slices of homemade bread, you will give a rustic and genuine touch to this delicious first course. Although a bit laborious, fish soup deserves to be prepared: its flavors and aromas will transport you next to the sea for a day!


Shrimps 6 - (to be cleaned)
Cuttlefish 1 lb (400 g) - (cleaned)
Gurnard 1 ¼ lb (550 g) - (to be cleaned)
Monkfish 1 lb (500 g) - (to be cleaned)
Goatfish 1 ¼ lb (550 g) - (to be cleaned)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Garlic 2 cloves
Parsley to taste
White wine 1 ¾ oz (50 g)
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Tomato puree 1 lb (500 g)
For the fish stock
Celery 1 stalk
Carrots 1
White onions 1
Water 1 ⅔ quart (1.5 l)
Ground white pepper to taste
Parsley to taste
For the mussels
Mussels 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Garlic 1 clove

How to prepare Fish soup

To make the fish soup, start by cleaning the gurnards: after having gutted and rinsed them, cut the back at the level of the central bone 1, and divide them into two fillets 2, then remove the smaller bones with special fishbone tongs 3, hold the fillet lying on the cutting board and rub it with your fingertips to locate the bones. Keep the leftover fish scraps that will be used for the stock.

Start cleaning the goatfish: after having gutted and rinsed them, remove both the head and tail 4, cut the back to obtain two fillets and eliminate the central bone 5. You can also proceed by making an incision at the base of the head and sliding the blade from head to tail to obtain the first fillet. Remove the bones with the fishbone tongs. Keep the scraps for the stock. Now clean the monkfish: gut it, remove its tail, fins, and skin. Cut the fish with a knife along the entire back, next to the central bone, to obtain the fillet 6. Cut it into slices and remember to keep the scraps.

Clean the shrimps by removing their heads, tails, and shells 7. Devein the shrimp 8 with the help of a toothpick. Now wash the vegetables you need to make the fish stock and cut them into chunks 9.

Put the vegetables 10 in a pan together with parsley, the fish scraps 11, and black (or white) peppercorns 12.

Add the water 13, turn on the heat and cook for two hours from the moment it starts boiling. During the cooking, use a skimmer to remove the foam that will form on the surface 14. Meanwhile, clean the mussels: make sure they are all closed, those broken or open will have to be discarded. Remove any barnacles with a small knife and pull out the hairy beard that may stick out of the shell. Finally, scrape off the impurities with a clean scourer or stiff brush 15.

Now rinse them thoroughly 16. In a pan, heat a drizzle of oil with a clove of peeled garlic 17. Add the mussels 18 and cover them with the lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time.

The mussels must all be open 19. Drain them through a colander to collect their cooking water 20. Then shell them 21, making sure to set aside some mussels with their shells to garnish the dishes.

Now cut the cuttlefish into strips 22. In a large saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil with two cloves of peeled garlic, add the cuttlefish and brown them over high heat for 3-4 minutes 23. Add the white wine and let it evaporate 24.

Pour in the tomato sauce 25 and the cooking water of the mussels 26. Cover with the lid and cook for 25 minutes 27.

Meanwhile, the fish stock will be ready 28, filter it through a colander 29 and set aside 30.

Remove the garlic cloves from the soup 31, add the slices of monkfish 32 and 28 ounces of the previously prepared fish stock 33. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the cuttlefish 34 and gurnard fillets 35, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, rotating the pan so as not to flake the fish apart. Finally, add the shrimps 36

and the shelled mussels 37. Adjust with salt and pepper only at this point, let it cook for another minute, then turn off the heat, add the mussels with their shells, chopped parsley 38 and serve the fish soup hot 39.


The fish soup can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You can freeze it if you have used fresh ingredients.


We recommend adding salt only at the end as the fish can be quite savory once cooked. You can vary the dose of broth according to the consistency you want to obtain: decrease the dose if you want a thicker soup or increase the amount to thin the soup.