Serving
(click to enlarge)

Fish Soup
Italy
  -   Zuppa di Pesce
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
7 soup  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Yes

As are most Italian fish soups, this one is made of whatever seafood you can lay your hands on at the time - the more kinds the better. Some of it can be those odd bits of seafood you have in your freezer. Early in a recent party I noticed no-one was trying this soup. Apparently someone eventually did, because at clean-up time there was none left.


2
5
2
4
1-1/2
2
12
3
5
1
1
1/3
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------
#
oz
cl

oz
oz
oz
T
c

t
t
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Fish, mixed (1)  
Onion
Garlic
Anchovy fillet (2)
Celery
Carrot
Tomatoes
Olive Oil ExtV
Fish stock (3)
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper
-- Garnish
Parsley
-- Serve with
Toast (4)
Prep   -   (25 min - exclusive of cleaning and filleting fish & making stock)
  1. Make your Fish Stock (see Note-3). This can be done even days ahead.
  2. Cut FISH into largish chunks. Mussel and clam meat can be left whole (unless very large). Shrimp can be left whole or cut in half, depending on size. Cut squid and octopus (use small ones) into convenient size pieces (they will shrink a lot, so not too small). Mix all.
  3. Chop ONION fine. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Chop ANCHOVIES fine. Mix all.
  4. Chop CELERY and CARROT very fine. Mix.
  5. Peel TOMATOES and chop small.
  6. Chop PARSLEY for garnish.
RUN   -   (1-1/4 hr))
  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot heat Olive Oil and fry Onion mix until just translucent. Stir in Celery Mix and fry, stirring often, for another 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in Tomatoes, Bay Leaf and Stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer slowly about 40 minutes.
  3. See Note-5.
  4. Stir in Fish mix, bring just to a boil, cover and simmer slowly 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.
  5. Season with Salt and Pepper. Adjust liquid as needed (see Note-4), garnish with Parsley and serve hot.
  6. IF serving over Toast:   See Note-4. Place Toast in soup bowls and ladle soup over. Sprinkle on a little Parsley for garnish and serve hot.
NOTES:
  1. Fish:   Weight is for fish pieces without heads, bones or fins. Include in this weight shrimp, clams, mussels, squid and/or octopus (use small ones), and whatever have you - BUT - hopefully you have some whole fish so you can makes stock with the heads, bones, fins (and shrimp shells). Select fish that hold together reasonably well with wet cooking. For details see our Varieties of Fish page (very big page).
  2. Anchovies:   Avoid Moroccan anchovies, the quality is often very poor. Italian are widely available in jars (and in cans at Trader Joe's) and South American are quite good. For details see our European Anchovy page.
  3. Fish Stock:   If you have whole fish, use the heads, fins and bones to make fish stock. Include skins only if approved on our "Details and Cooking" page for that particular fish (See our Varieties of Fish page). Include shrimp shells (and heads if available). Bring to a boil and simmer slowly 40 minutes. Strain and let settle. Use your gravy separator to remove all oil. For more details on making and storing stock, see our Fish Stock page. If you cannot make stock, use water and 16 ounces of Clam Juice, and perhaps 2 T of Thai Fish Sauce. For details see our Fish Sauce page.
  4. Toast:   IF serving over toast as is done in Italy, make the soup very liquid - that 5 cups of stock should be more like 7 cups. Toast will absorb a whole lot. The bread should, of course, be Italian, but French will do. Slice 1/2 inch thick, cut off crust. and toast in a pre-heated 357°F/190°C oven. Serving with toast is entirely unsuited to buffet service.
  5. Method:   At this point, three strategies are followed depending on the effect desired. 1) I usually do nothing. 2) Strain the soup, purée the vegetables and add back. 3) Strain the soup and discard the vegetables.
  6. 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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