13 Aug Mediterranean Fish Soup


Mediterranean Fish Soup

13 August 2021

PREP. TIME: 20 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 25 mins   -   SERVES: 4

Whilst you may expect to see this dish in any sunny Mediterranean port in the height of Summer, it is probably even better in the depths of Winter in a town like Melbourne.

You cannot beat the delightful colours and delicate flavours of this classic.  It can be put together quickly, especially if you allow others to help.  Serve them a glass of Pastis to keep them going.

Recipe Template

Use a fruity Italian wine such as Pinot Grigio to cook with and to serve with the meal.  A light Dolcetto would not be out of place at the table but do not cook with it.

If you cannot make your own fish stock - most fish mongers sell it.

Serve with thick slices of toasted sourdough bread, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Provide a clean tea towel for each person to use as a napkin, a shallow bowl for everyone, a soup spoon and perhaps a fork.

Have extra olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper on the table.

ingredients for 4 -6 people

1 medium onion

4 - 6 garlic cloves

1 small fresh red chilli - optional

1 cup tomato puree or grated fresh tomatoes

1 cup white wine

4 - 6 small potatoes

1 fennel bulb and fronds - optional

2 cups water or fish stock

4 - 6 medium size unpeeled prawns

16 - 20 mussels

500 g cod or snapper other white fish fillets - no skin

200 g pippis

200 g cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano


Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Chopping board and kitchen knife

Large, heavy based soup pot

Long handled wooden spoon


Step 1 - Prepare the ingredients:

Peel and finely chop the onion.

Keep the chilli whole for a milder heat, otherwise chop into pieces.

Peel the garlic cloves and keep whole

Peel and chop the potatoes into even size cubes

Trim and cut the fennel bulb into wedges.  Trim and set aside the fine, bright, green fronds for garnish.

Rinse and halve the cherry tomatoes if large

Rinse and finely chop the parsley leaves and tender stems

Purge the pippis in salted water and rinse well until there is no sand sediment left in the rinsing bowl.

Scrub and de-beard the mussels.

Cut the fish into large cubes

Step 2 - Cook

Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat and and gently cook the onion with a teaspoon of salt, until translucent.

Add the whole garlic cloves and the chilli and cook without colouring the garlic, for a few

minutes or until fragrant.

Add a spoonful of chopped parsley.

Add the pippis and the mussels and stir for a minute or two.  As they open - pluck them out and set them aside in a bowl.

Add the wine and allow to boil for a minute or two

Add the tomatoes, the oregano and the chopped potatoes and fennel wedges if using - cover with the fish stock or water.

Cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the fish pieces and the prawns and cook until tender.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper

Step 3 - To Serve

Just before serving, add the cherry tomatoes.  Try not to stir the pot or you may break up the fish. 

Return the mussels and pippis and all of their juices to the pot.

Hold the pot on both sides with a protective cloth and swish the soup around a little.

Garnish with more chopped parsley, the fronds of fennel and quarters of lemon.

Serve immediately


Recipe adapted by Elizabeth Peddey from The Mediterranean Diet by Dr Catherine Itsiopolous, and Fool Proof Mediterranean Cookery by Claudia Roden

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