Serving
(click to enlarge)

Fish Soup Kakavia
Greece
  -   Kakavia
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 qts.  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Yes

This delicious fish soup is the ancient ancestor of the Bouillabaisse of Marseilles, formerly the Greek colony of Massalia, established circa 600 BCE. Unlike most Greek fish soups, the fish itself is served with the the broth rather than as a separate course. For more details see Note-10.


3
1
1
6
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3
2
3
3
2
1
6
1
1/3
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1/2
1/4
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1
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#
#
#
oz
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#
oz
T


c
c
t
t
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c
c
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#
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Fish (1)
Shrimp
Shellfish (2)
Onion (3)
-- Broth mix
Tomatoes (4)
Fennel (5)
Parsley Leaves
Thyme sprig
Bay Leaf
Wine (6)
Stock / Water (7)  
Salt
Pepper
---------------
Olive Oil ExtV
Lemon Juice
-- Options
Potatoes (8)
-- Serve with
Toast Squares (9)
Olive Oil ExtV
Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Prepare FISH as needed and cut into largish chunks. Lightly salt the fish and set aside for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.
  2. Shell and de-vein SHRIMP and prepare other Shellfish as appropriate.
  3. Quarter ONION lengthwise and slice thin crosswise.
  4. Peel TOMATOES and chop small. Dice FENNEL (or Celery) small. Chop PARSLEY small. Mix all Broth items. See also Note-11.
  5. Squeeze LEMON JUICE.
  6. Make TOAST (or croutons) if using (see Note-9).
RUN   -   (1-1/4 hr))
  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat Olive Oil and fry Onions until just translucent.
  2. Stir in Broth Mix, bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  3. At this point some cooks strain the stock and press the vegetable pulp through a strainer, discarding all fibrous matter. Another strategy is to run the strained vegies in a food processor - or don't even bother straining or processing, as I do, your choice.
  4. Bring the Broth back to a boil and stir in Fish. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in Shrimp and Shellfish. Heat only until the first few bubbles, then keep below a boil or the shellfish will toughen. Thy should be cooked in less than 5 minutes.
  6. Check seasoning and liquid. If more is needed (see Note-7 and Note-9) add water that has just been boiled and allowed to cool a few degrees. Stir in Lemon Juice.
  7. Place Toasted Bread (if used) in soup bowls and ladle soup over, or serve croutons on the side. If you wish, drizzle with a few drops of Olive Oil. Serve hot.
NOTES:
  1. Fish:   Weight is for fish pieces without heads, bones or scales. Light colored, moderately flavored fish that hold together reasonably well with wet cooking are best, or whatever chunks you have in your freezer compartment. bass, cod, hake, haddock, halibut, trout, pollack, snapper, rockfish, whiting and others are used. For details see our Varieties of Fish page (very big page).
  2. Shellfish:   Any of squid, scallops, mussels, clams, periwinkles, lobster and baby octopus may be used.
  3. Onion:   Leeks may be used instead of onions, or even scallions.
  4. Tomatoes:   These are from the Americas, so could not have been used in ancient times, but are always included today.
  5. Fennel:   Stems may be used here rather than bulbs if you are going to strain the soup (see steps). Celery is sometimes used instead of fennel (include some leaves).
  6. Wine:   Most recipes call for a dry white wine, but at least one of my older Greek cookbooks calls for red.
  7. Stock / Water:   Preferable is a light fish broth (which can be made a few days ahead from the heads, bones and fins of the fish you will be using - freeze the fillets immediately). If none is available, water can be used. If serving with toast, you will probably need more than given in the recipe (see Note-9).
  8. Potatoes:   Potatoes aren't any more "authentic" than Tomatoes, but more than half the recipes for this soup now call from them. White Rose work well, but avoid Yukon Gold types which turn to mush if cooked a little long. Cut potatoes into about 3/4 inch cubes and boil them separately until just cooked through. Add to the soup near the end of cooking, or you can add them on the first reheating.
  9. Toast:   In Greece this soup is expected to be served over squares of toast or with toasted croutons. If you serve it this way, you will need to see that there's enough liquid. Add more if needed, the bread absorbs a lot. Use Italian or French bread, slice 1/2 inch thick and toast in a pre-heated oven at 357°F/190°C.
  10. Details:   Exact flavor will depend on the types of fish used - usually a mix of whatever is available that day. This soup is usually made in large quantity, as given here, because it gets better over a few days. You could do a half recipe, but less than that would not work well.
  11. Broth:   Some add some fish at the point the tomatoes go in and squeeze it through a strainer as described in the steps to make a thicker soup. This is less important if you are using fish stock rather than water. Quite a few recipes include a couple diced carrots with the tomato mix.
  12. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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