Mediterranean Fish Soup

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 main course servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 medium ribs celery, cut thinly on the diagonal

8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/3 cup white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 pinches saffron threads

8 cups fish or shrimp stock, or a combination of both

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 orange, juiced

2 (3-inch) strips orange zest

2 fennel bulbs, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch slices (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning fish

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such as halibut, snapper, grouper, or cod

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Garlic-Rubbed Croutons, for serving, recipe follows

Garlic-Rubbed Croutons:

12 (1/2-inch) slices crusty French bread

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, cut in 1/2


  1. In a 6 quart saucepan or soup pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the white wine, tomato paste, saffron, stock, crushed red pepper, orange juice, and orange zest and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by about one-third.
  2. Add the fennel and tomatoes and cook until the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  3. Season the fish fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the fillets into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Add the fish, shrimp, and parsley to the broth and allow to cook, gently stirring only once or twice, until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with garlic-rubbed croutons.

Garlic-Rubbed Croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the French bread slices on a small baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. While still warm, rub each crouton with one of the cut sides of garlic.

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