Fish Soup Syracuse Style


(“Zuppa di Pesce Siracusana”)


(“Suppa ri Pisci Siracusana”)


Did you ever hear of a baked soup?
This is the way this interesting fish soup is cooked in Syracuse. 
The cooking in the oven presents many advantages to the quality of this preparation. 
Because it is cooked with a tight lid, all the flavors, vitamins and other nutrients remain enclosed in the soup, and because the pot containing the fish, will be surrounded from every angle by heat, it will cook the fish in an unaccustomed way that will pleasantly surprise you.
The fish used in Syracuse are different from our local fish. Some changes are made to adapt this recipe to the local products and to today’s preferences.
An assortment of fish like grouper, halibut, ocean perch, red snapper or sea bream are preferred as fillets or steaks, and shrimps, calamari, fresh clams, mussels combined with vegetables and wine will produce a gorgeous and aromatic dish to enjoy with your family. 
As we recommend many times, buy from a reliable fishmonger and make sure that the fish has a fresh smell and firm flesh.


Serves 8 



For the Fish

  • 1 lb. of squid cleaned – slice the tubes into ¾ inch rings, cut the tentacles in 3 parts
  • 2 doz. littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed, debearded and rinsed
  • 5 lb. assorted fish steaks or fillets cut in chucks  

For the Soup

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 medium chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup imported Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped, without the juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup of Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper



       Zuppa di pesce (Siracusa)



The Fish
Rinse all the fish a few times , check and remove any bones, place in a colander. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

The Soup
 In a 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven, or a heavy 6 quart sauce pot with a lid, place the olive oil, the chopped onions, garlic cloves, celery, tomato, bay leaves and half of the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste and with the help of a wooden spoon, turn the vegetables gently to combine well. 
Add the mussels, clams and squids over the vegetables. Place the fish on top putting last the most delicate and sprinkle remaining parsley. 
Add the wine and the water and place the pot covered with a tight lid in a hot oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes

The Serving
Remove from the oven and transfer the fish to a serving dish, being very careful not to break them, spoon the vegetables and juice on top. On the side serve crusty Italian bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, hot from the oven.