Fish soup

Fish soup

Riblja juha

By
From
Dalmatia
Serves
4

Soup is an essential part of the Croatian diet and is a must for Sunday lunch. My grandmother cooked this soup nearly every day. She used to say that it was so good it could bring people back from the dead! It is very healthy and light on the stomach, but I’m not so sure it has the powers my grandmother claimed. This is a very simple recipe. All you need is fresh fish, vegetables, olive oil, some rice and seasoning. Be sure to use whitefleshed fish for this recipe, rather than oily fish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg whole fish, such as flathead, rockling, snapper or eel
1 brown onion
1 garlic bulb, cut in half
2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
100ml good-quality olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
50g short-grain white rice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Method

  1. Gut and scale the fish, then wash it in cold water.
  2. Chop the vegetables and put them in a large saucepan with the fish and bay leaf. Add 1.5 litres water and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If you would like to have poached fish with a weaker soup, fill the pan with hot water, but if you would like a heartier soup, fill the pan with cold water. Bring to the boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. (If the water starts to evaporate, add some more.) The olive oil will emulsify into the liquid, giving the soup a light yellow colour and a velvety texture.
  3. Strain the soup, reserving the fish, then add the rice. Remove the fish flesh from the bones and set aside. Cook the rice until soft, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, then pour the soup into serving bowls topped with pieces of fish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Note

  • Instead of a whole fish, you can just use a fish head and bones. Make sure you clean the gills and blood and discard before serving.
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