Greek Fish and Vegetable Soup (Kakavia)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Adding eel to this traditional Greek fish soup lends body and flavor to the broth.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 12 bulb fennel, plus 3 fronds
  • 1 12 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
  • 12 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


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

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