Greek fisherman’s soup (known in Greece as Kakavia | κακαβιά) is a delight. It truly is a mouthwatering dish to make which will show off the flavors of whichever fish you choose to throw in. Why? I think the main reason this soup pops in flavor without much work is because you get to use the natural saltiness from the fish, plus, by using a variety, you get a small taste of each of their unique flavor qualities. Greek fisherman’s soup has a base of only water because extra stock in not necessarily needed to make the dish taste yummy. Of course, you can add vegetable stock and different herbs if you would like as this never hurts. 🙂
Greek Fisherman’s soup
Greek fisherman’s soup or stew, depending on how thick you make the broth, is something that derived from Greek fishermen who were out at sea and would use the ‘catch of the day’ for their dinner that night. Whatever haul they brought home is what they used. Additionally, they used whatever was leftover that they didn’t sell. Why this works so well in our homes today is because you can use whatever fish or shellfish you have on hand and you will be recreating the same concept that the fishermen used. For example, we used mahi-mahi which can be a bit pricier but we happened to find it on sale. We also used cod and shrimp. It made for the perfect mix of meaty fish and shellfish. You can use mussels, tilapia, swordfish, etc. Lobster is another amazing addition if you can buy it easily or for a good deal. Too many choices so little time.
Speaking of so little time, truth is, this is a super quick meal. You are not going to have to spend all day figuring out how to fill your family up with a hearty and healthy dinner. Give yourself 30 minutes and you are well on your way to having a full tummy.
I was always a bit skeptical about making a soup that had nothing but fish in it. Growing up, soups like clam chowder were my least favorite. I think that is why, as an adult, I was always unsure about making a bouillabaisse or Greek fisherman’s soup recipe. I am so afraid it will be too fishy. But I know now that these thoughts are stuck in my head and not based in reality. It’s like when you hated eating peas or some other thing as a child but when you grow up, you end up loving it. This is my relationship with fish soups. This soup was so incredibly delicious and I urge anyone with a childhood fear to step out of their comfort zone and try to get creative in the kitchen. Turn those childhood food fears into meal adventures in your own home.
Not that it matters because I would have loved it anyway, but this soup didn’t taste super fishy as it happens. So it all worked out in the end. 🙂 I added a bit of Greek yogurt and red pepper flakes to my bowl just to give it some cream and spice. Kenton chose to opt-out of these ingredients. Just shows you how versatile this dish can really be.
So go ahead and be like the a fishermen and make yourself the delicious Greek fisherman’s soup. It will be quick, easy, and super healthy. And if you find the right fish, it can be rather inexpensive as well. Enjoy!
Greek Fisherman’s Soup Video
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 leek, diced
- Sea salt and pepper
- ¾ cup white wine
- 2 lbs variety of fish, cut into large chunks
- *We used*
- 1 lb shrimp
- ½ lb cod
- ½ lb mahi-mahi
- 2 tomatoes on the vine, diced
- 5 small golden potatoes, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of chili powder
- Water to cover everything
- Heat a dutch oven or large pot over med-high heat and add in olive oil, onion, garlic, leeks, and salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add white wine and simmer for another 2-5 minutes to reduce.
- Add fish, tomatoes, potatoes, thyme, bayleaf, and chili powder.
- Add enough water to cover everything.
- Bring to boil, reduce and simmer the Greek fisherman's soup for 15-20 minutes.
- One done, taste and adjust seasonings to preference.
- Serve Greek fisherman's soup with some bread and enjoy!
Be sure to check out our other Greek seafood recipes!