Taste the famous

Fish soup

Fish soup is a popular traditional dish. It can be found in other cities around the Mediterranean, but with different recipes. What interests us here is the fish soup of Marseille!

The origin of fish soup

The origin of this recipe lies in the fishermen who, on their return from fishing, brought home unsaleable fish and cooked them to make a soup to which they added croutons rubbed with garlic.

Fish soup is most often made with rock fish, which are often small and colourful, such as Girelle, Rascasse, Roucaou, Vieille… You can also add a piece of Fielas (Congre) and Fioupélans (large clawed crabs). But each family that makes real fish soup has its own little secrets!

Fish soup is the traditional summer dish in our country. We make it in the cabins by the sea, during the holidays, with fish from the family catch. It is a dish that we all make together: young and old, everyone has to participate!

The recipe for fish soup

The recipe is not complicated, but it takes time and elbow grease!

What utensils are needed?

To make fish soup you need a large pot, a hand blender, a vegetable mill and a chinois (a very fine strainer).

What ingredients are needed to make fish soup?

To make fish soup, you need: 3 kilos of rock fish, herbs: fennel branches, a few bay leaves and a dried orange peel, 5 cloves of garlic, 4 onions and a coarsely chopped leek, a tin of tomato paste, a glass of olive oil, 1/2 glass of Pastis, 3 doses of saffron powder, salt and pepper.

How the recipe work

  • First, after cleaning the fish, put them in a pot with the other ingredients (except saffron) and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours so that all the flavours blend.
  • Then cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the fish is pureed, then add water to the top and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • This was the easy part…at this point you move on to the “sporty” part.
  • First mix the contents of the pot, you obtain a mush which you then “pass” through a mill to extract the juice and then start again with the “chinois” to eliminate the smallest fish residues. The juice is recovered and simmered again for fifteen minutes with saffron.
  • Finally, the soup is served with bread croutons rubbed with garlic and spread with rouille (mayonnaise with saffron and small chilli pepper)

Where to buy fish in Marseille?

You will find your fish on the famous fish market of the Vieux Port, it is located Quai de la Fraternité and it is open every day, every morning from 8am to 1pm (depending on the weather) or you can also find the fish for your soup at your usual fishmonger.