Fish Soup

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 45m

Serves 12 as a first course, 6 as a main course

This soup takes its name from the kettle, kakavi, in which it is cooked. You can be as lavish as you like and use clams and scallops in place of the mussels and shrimp. Kakavia can be a rich first course or a meal in itself. Thick slices of grilled bread make a delicious accompaniment.


  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 4 pounds assorted thick fish fillets such as bass, flounder, halibut, haddock, snapper, cod and grouper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1 cup sliced leeks, carefully washed
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Fresh lemon juice


Discard any mussels that do not close to the touch, then scrub the mussels under running water and remove their beards. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Cut the fish fillets into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a plate, sprinkle with salt and refrigerate until needed.

Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan or kettle over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Sauté for about 2 minutes longer.

Add the wine and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the fish pieces, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and mussels, re-cover and cook until the mussels open, about 3-4 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 672

nutrition information per serving

364 calories; 15g total fat; 141mg cholesterol; 387mg sodium; 8g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 45g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.