Marmitako (Basque Tuna and Potato Soup)

marmitako
MarmitakoMatt Taylor-Gross

In Spain’s Basque Country, marmitako means roughly “from the pot.” This rustic, filling soup, now common in Basque homes and sociedades, began as a meal local tuna fishermen would make during long fishing routes on their boats, and still do. Traditionally, locals crack the potatoes with a partial cut, then break off ragged chunks to toss into and add starchiness to the soup. Adding the tuna right at the end, just as the soup is removed from the heat, keeps the fish moist and tender.

Marmitako (Basque Tuna and Potato Soup)
In Spain’s Basque Country, marmitako means roughly “from the pot.” This rustic, filling soup, now common in Basque homes and sociedades, began as a meal local tuna fishermen would make during long fishing routes on their boats, and still do.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. raw tuna, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. pimentón or smoked paprika
  • Chopped Italian parsley leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the tuna with ½ teaspoon kosher salt to lightly coat. Set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, add the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften but not color, 8–10 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic, season lightly with kosher salt, and continue cooking until the vegetables are softened but not colored, 3–5 minutes. Add the pimentón and 3 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 13–15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tuna, and immediately cover the pan. Remove from the heat and let sit until the fish is just barely cooked through, 3–5 minutes.
  3. Divide the soup between 4–6 bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley to taste, and serve immediately.