Brodetto di Pesce aka Fish Soup

A nice fish soup is a joy. While this liquid isn’t as clarified, I think it is still a delicious way to eat some fish and have that inimitable warmth of a soup spreading through your body.  Also, my lovely wife and I ran across some fantastic seafood at the store and she told me to make something with them. A note on nomenclature – I didn’t call this a “zuppa” because I was more focused on the broth.  I went with “Brodetto” because of the amount of broth involved in the final product.  I am certain there are variations of both names for a dish similar to this all over Italy, so I will just make this disclaimer here.

Brodetto di Pesce

Brodetto di Pesce

Brodetto mis en place

  • 1/2lb Bay Scallops
  • 1/2lb (or more) shrimp, shells reserved
  • 1/2lb White fish
  • 1tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ Cup chopped parsley
  • ½ Cup Dry white wine, like a nice pinot grigio or dry riesling
  • 1 Onion, Quartered
  • 2 Carrots, chopped large
  • Thyme to taste
  • 1 Bay leaf

Make the Broth

  1. In a large stock pot or soup pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat
  2.  Add the Onion and Carrots and stir for a few minutes to let them get a little caramalization
  3.  Add 4-6 Cups of Water with the bay and thyme and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the Shrimp shells, and any other fish bones you may have in your freezer.
  5. Boil for approximately 10 minutes and reduce to medium heat to simmer another 15-20 minutes
  6.  Strain the broth and discard the liquids.  If you use a cheesecloth, you may be able to get it even clearer.

Broth

Make the Soup

Wine

  1. In a large soup out, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat with the crushed red pepper flakes.
  2.  After 3-4 minutes, add 4 cups of the broth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the wine
  4. Add the white fish. Simmer for ten minutes.
  5.  Add the scallops and shrimp; simmer for another 5-10 minutes until all the seafood is cooked through but still tender.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in most of the parsley
  7.  Serve and garnish with a little extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley for garnish

Brodetto

To make this more “Roman”

Broth

Step 2. Add 2 whole garlic cloves with the onions and carrots.

Soup

Step 3. Add 1 minced garlic clove and a second teaspoon (or more to taste) of crushed red pepper flakes with the wine.

To make this more of a ciopinno

Leave the shellfish in their shells.

Soup

Step 2. Bloom a pinch of saffron in 1/2C of the warmed stock while the rest comes to a simmer

Step 3. Add 2 medium tomatoes, chopped, with the wine and return the saffron infused stock to the pot

To make more of a bouillabaisse

Soup

Step 2. Bloom a pinch of saffron in 1/2C of the warmed stock while the rest comes to a simmer

Step 3. Add 1 medium tomato, chopped, 1 medium potato, chopped, and 1 medium bulb of fennel, sliced with the wine