Monday, November 30, 2009

Mediterranean Fish Soup (Cacciucco/Bouillabaisse)

My husband and I replaced our old electric range / oven with a gas range / oven just a few days ago. Also, we changed from a microwave with hood to a professional hood. One of the reasons why I have not been updated my blog for a long time is that I was too hectic looking for good products and a good plumber to make the installations. Luckily, we found all of them. Then, I become busy admiring these fabulous range / oven and hood. Time flies fast and here I am writing a new update.

I love a gas oven, which cooks food evenly and keeps moisture inside of any meat. The day our new range / oven was installed we decided to bake lemon chicken using a whole chicken. I noticed that it did not produce much grease. Most of the grease stayed inside of the meat. Therefore, the chicken was extremely juicy and delicious.

I also love my new gas range. It is easy to adjust the temperature and simmer well. So, when I saw mussels, clams, and other seafood piling up on a seafood market, I decided to cook this fish soup on my new gas range.

This soup is a typical fish soup / stew in the Mediterranean region where various types of fresh fish and shellfish are available. The key to make this soup successfully is adding as many kinds of fresh seafood as possible. This delicious soup makes you warm throughout your body and mind. After a big Thanksgiving turkey, try this fish soup which can make you feel cheerful.

1 lb mussels wish shells
4 big clams wish shells
¼ lb cod filet (if the one with the bones and head cannot be found)
½ red snapper with the bone and the head, if possible
1 lb squids
1 lb shrimps with their heads and shells on
1 big onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 rip tomatoes, chopped
1 pinch of saffron
1 chill pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup of extra olive oil

1. Wash the mussels and clams very well. Soak them into salty water for about 30 minutes.
2. Put the mussels and clams in a large pot and add the white wine. Cover and bring to a boil. 3. After boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the shells are open. Remove them from the pot. If a clam is not open, discard it. Reserve the white wine.
3. Put 4-6 cups of water in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, chill pepper, bay leaf, and saffron. Add the reserved white wine. Cover and bring to a boil. After boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Add the cod, snapper, squids and shrimps and simmer them for 10 minutes. Add the mussels and clams. Season with salt and black pepper.
5. Add the parsley and extra virgin olive oil and turn off the heat. Serve it with crispy bread to wipe out the delicious soup.


  1. Your post is really a feast in the eyes! It makes me want to have one. I've gotta prepare one for myself. Thank you for your recipe and keep posting!

  2. Your post looks so yummy and delicious! I wonder how can I make myself that one perfectly like what you've just described in your article. Thanks for your post though, another one added in my list!

  3. I'm a big fan of shells and this recipe is perfect, I'll share this to my wife so she can make one for me :) Thanks!