Greek Fish and Vegetable Soup (Kakavia)
Adding eel to this traditional Greek fish soup lends body and flavor to the broth.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 onion, halved
- 1⁄2 bulb fennel, plus 3 fronds
- 1 1⁄2 lb. eel or monkfish, cleaned and cut into 4" pieces
- 2 (1-lb.) sea bass or red snapper, cleans and filleted, bones and head reserved
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 tsp. Aleppo pepper, or 1⁄8 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 2" pieces
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Heat 5 tbsp. oil in a 5-qt. pot over high heat. Add the parsley, oregano, bay leaves, onions, and fennel; cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the eel, the bones and head of the sea bass, 1 1⁄2 cups wine, and 9 cups water; partially cover pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally and skimming the surface, until broth reduces to about 7 cups, about 1 hour. Strain broth, pressing on the bones to expel as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and set broth aside.
- Heat remaining oil, garlic, and Aleppo pepper in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, about 4 minutes. Add remaining wine and broth, along with potatoes, carrots, and zucchini; bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Halve sea bass fillets crosswise and add them to the broth; cook until filets are opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowls; serve hot.