Zuppa di pesci

Courtesy Brad Ball

This a great soup for summer or winter and lends itself well to fresh line fish and a few other green listed crustaceans. Serve it with fully loaded garlic bread.


Ingredients for soup base
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 3 inside celery ribs, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, bruised to release aroma
  • Handful of dill herb, chopped
  • 1 chilli, medium heat, seeds removed
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 tablespoons browned flour
  • 350 ml Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 tins whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1.4 L fish stock
  • 70 ml fish sauce

Ingredients for finishing
  • 400 g green listed line fish. Gurnard, angelfish or yellowtail. Cut into 2cm pieces
  • 8 tiger prawns, shelled
  • 12 black mussels, cleaned
  • 150 g calamari strips/rings


  • Place onions, celery, garlic, dill, chillies, parsley and thyme into a large pot with enough oil and sauté until soft, but no colour.
  • Add the white wine and reduce until almost gone.
  • Add the flour and cook out for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes fish sauce and fish stock.
  • Bring up to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes with a lid on.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 1 hour.
  • Pass through a sieve, crushing the veg to extract flavour. Keep until necessary.

  • Place required amount of soup in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Add the fish and prawns. Once half cooked, add the mussels and squid.
  • Finish with spring onions and tarragon or dill.