adriatic fish soup
zuppa dei pescatori dell’adriatico
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- 2 medium onions
- 1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) whole red snapper, fillets removed and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, head removed and reserved, bones cut into pieces
- 1 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) whole black sea bass, fillets removed and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, head removed and reserved, bones cut into pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 5 pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup mild white wine vinegar
- 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzano)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound cleaned small squid, bodies cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces; tentacles halved, if large
- 1/2 pound sole or flounder fillets
- 1/3 pound red mullet fillets with skin (from about 1 pound whole fish)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 12 slices rustic bread, lightly toasted
Quarter 1 onion and put in a heavy large pot. Add head and bones of snapper and bass, celery and bay leaves; cover with 2 quarts water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, skimming foam occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice remaining onion. In a second large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and cook for 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, and pinch salt, pepper and sugar. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Strain fish broth into a large bowl through a fine sieve. Add squid and 6 cups broth to onion mixture (save any remaining broth for another use). Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add snapper, bass, sole, mullet and 1 tablespoon parsley; gently simmer, covered, for 30 minutes more. Stir in remaining parsley and adjust seasoning.
Divide toast among large bowls and ladle soup over top.
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