Venetian Fish Soup

December 3rd, 2014

Venetian Fish Soup 1

I don’t know about you, but after the Thanksgiving holidays I crave food that is totally different from that table of white carbs and sweet desserts.  Also, for health reasons, David is trying to eat better.  So he has been on a seafood soup kick lately.  He spends his mornings at the gym and then comes home and throws something together like this Venetian fish soup.  Similar to bouillabaisse or cioppino, this fragrant fish soup is vibrant and alive with flavor.

Venetian Fish Soup 2V

Shrimp and fish fillets are the protein in this soup.  Combined with vegetables, clam juice, crushed tomatoes and white wine, you have a relatively light bowl of goodness.  If you wanted to add some carbs to the mix you could add a piece of garlic infused toasted baguette to the bowl before you add the soup.  But for lunch we liked it just the way that it was.

Venetian Fish Soup 3

The recipe came from Food and Wine Magazine.  David adapted it slightly.  But I am showing it here as it was written.  I am fortunate to have him in the kitchen doing his healthy cooking.  Maybe it will offset all of the cookies I am getting ready to make.


1/2 pound large shrimp, shells removed and reserved
2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in puree (from a 28-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt or more, depending on the saltiness of the clam juice
2 bay leaves
2 pounds moderately firm white fish fillets such as cod, halibut, ocean perch, orange roughy, or pollack (cut in pieces)
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the shrimp shells and the water in a small pot; bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Strain the shrimp stock into a bowl.  Discard the shells.

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat.  Add the carrots, onions, fennel, celery and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine; cook until it almost evaporates, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the shrimp stock, clam juice, tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the thyme, salt and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.  Taste for salt and, if needed, add more,  Remove the bay leaves.

Add the fish, shrimp, the remaining tablespoon parsley and the pepper to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the fish and shrimp are just done, about 2 minutes.

Printable Recipe

14 responses to “Venetian Fish Soup”

  1. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    That sounds delicious and perfect for the Mediterranean diet I am trying to follow! I just made some great minestrone soup, but my pictures turned out bad :-(.

  2. Sandy B says:

    Oh Yummy! I can’t wait to try this one.

  3. Catherine says:

    Dear Penny, That is a beautiful soup for the cold days of winter. xo Catherine

  4. Madonna says:

    I love this soup. I make something very similar, but with cubed potatoes. I had a complaint – about no potatoes please. I was thinking fennel. So I will be trying your version.

  5. Sharon says:

    Love the soup. David adapted it by making less of it I’d bet. That’s a lot of fish for two people. Think I might try it today.
    Your blog is getting beautifuller and beautifuller, Penny!

  6. Monique says:

    It looks festive too!
    I am going to try this..looks delicious!

  7. David says:

    Sharon, I made the whole recipe in a very large pot, put the leftovers in the fridge, and ate fish soup for lunch for several days.

  8. cheri says:

    Hi Penny, love this soup, the fennel is such a perfect addition.

  9. susan bocox says:

    amazing! love the presentation!

  10. Adri says:

    What a beautiful soup-and perfect for this time of year.

  11. lindaraxa says:

    Of all the fish soups in the world this is by far my favorite. David sure picked a good one. If you are ever in Venice the best can be had at Harry’s Bar. Although not as beautifully photographed as yours, it’s up on the blog. Like you I crave for something drastically different after Thanksgiving and its usually shrimp

  12. Susan says:

    I’ll be counting on ideas like this after the gluttony of the holidays are over. We’ll be eating lots of fish, soup and salads 🙂 How delicious this looks!

  13. Debra Booe says:

    Absolutely delicious! I had never made any version of this soup and we devoured it! My son commented that he hoped I would make it again VERY soon! And, I shall! Thank you!

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