Friday, January 02, 2009

Can't wait longer, it's fish soup

It has been around for a while though, not in "person" but as a post that still had to be done. I would have liked to do this sooner but I was waiting for the grades my soup his presentation got, alas, we don't know yet. The story begins here; I suggested to serve Greek Fish soup for a group during a presentation. As my son adopted the idea, I had to find a source for the recipe.

Who could I better turn to than Laurie Constantino over at Mediterreanean Cooking in Alaska who graciously answered with a great authentic recipe for Kakavia! This paired beautifully to the recipe Aranka sent me (which can be found in the comment section from this post). Bloggers are just a great bunch of people! Thank you! Following is Laurie's recipe:

Kakavia (Greek Fish Soup)

Greeks would tell you that Kakavia was the foundation on which Bouillabaise was built. Like bouillabaisse, Kakavia is better when a mix of fish and shellfish are used. You can also make it just with fish and leave out the shellfish.

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups diced leeks, 1/2” dice

1 1/2 cups diced onions, 1/2” dice

1 cup diced celery, 1/2” dice


Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 15-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup minced fresh fennel leaves or 2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme

10 cups water

4 pounds mixed white-fleshed fish fillets (cod, halibut, rockfish, snapper, etc.)

2 pounds mixed shellfish (shrimps, scallops, clams, mussels)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Minced parsley for garnish

Sauté the leeks, onions, and celery in olive oil, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, until the onions soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, fennel, parsley, thyme, and water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have blended. Taste and add salt, freshly ground black pepper, or fennel, as needed.

Cut the fish into large chunks, and clean the shellfish. When the broth is done, add the fish and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the fish is almost, but not quite, cooked through. Add the shellfish and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes, or until the shellfish are done. Stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately with minced parsley sprinkled over thesoup.

I basically followed the recipe (used half home made fish stock, half water) but allowed some freedom with regard to the filling. I wasn't too sure if a bunch of 16 yr olds would really appreciate all that delicious shellfish so I left it at safe white fish. Laurie would look at the pics and think: what did she do to the color of that soup? Well, again, trying to please the class by adding some tomate puree and cream at the last moment. My son left with a bucket (!) full of soup and returned with it almost empty. Good sign!

Oh.. those guys made me laugh: when told the recipe for this soup came all the way from Alaska there were at least three of them that blurted out: oh great, and eh can she see Russia from her house? Well guys, I don't know that but she makes a darn good soup!


  1. Glad it was a success, returning with an almost empty bucket is rewarding isn't it! It's always hard to put yourself in their feet in likes and dislikes... Great job!

  2. Hello there. Happy new year to you! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I love bouillabaisse but never knew that kakavia existed! And - 3 children!! I struggle with just 1 ;-)


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