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Fish soup (Cacciucco)

Richly flavourful, with the fragrance of a sea breeze, cacciucco fish soup, is one of Italy’s foremost seafood dishes. The inexpensive but super-fresh fish used to make it pays tribute to the Mediterranean and to the Bel Paese’s home cooking.


3 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
300 gr peeled, seeded tomatoes
1 chili pepper
Half a glass of white wine
300 gr cuttlefish
400 gr squid 400 gr prawns, mantis shrimp or shrimp
1 kg mussels
1 scorpion fish
1 smooth-hound
1 octopus
1 sprig parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Toasted slices of homestyle bread


According to popular belief, the recipe for cacciucco fish soup came from the province of Livorno, Tuscany. This soup was a mix of fish trimmings and stale bread. Fish soup was used to feed imprisoned slaves, but it was also typically made by very poor families. Some claim that this dish goes back to Phoenician times, but popular legend has it that fish soup came about by accident. A fishermen went out to sea and was swept away by a terrible storm that killed him. His wife was desperate and sent her children to beg for a bit of food. 

The other fishermen, moved by her situation, gave each child a fish. Returning home, the children turned over the fish, each one different, to their mother; she put them together and turned them into a soup, which she served with slices of stale bread. The neighbours, attracted by the fine smell, asked the housewife what it was, and she gave them the recipe for her delicious fish soup. Recipe Intro Super-tasty with all the flavours of the sea, fish soup is a highly prestigious dish. Its taste is unique, and the contrast of its consistency with the crunchiness of the toasted bread makes this truly perfect.

Garlic cacciucco
Garlic cacciucco
Celery cacciucco
Celery cacciucco
Squid cacciucco
Squid cacciucco


Very tasty and enriched by the taste of sea, the fish soup is a very prestigious dish. Its flavour is unique and the contrast between its compactness and the crunchiness of the toasted bread makes this recipe genuinely perfect.


In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil and chili pepper. Add the octopus cut into pieces, then the cuttlefish and finally the squid. After a few minutes, add the previously cleaned smooth-hound and deglaze with white wine. Add the crushed tomato and continue cooking gently for 30 minutes. 

In another pan, fry the chopped celery in extra virgin olive oil; add the scorpionfish and half a glass of wine. Cook the scorpionfish for 20 minutes over low heat. Add the scorpionfish to the other fish, then add the shellfish. Mix well but gently. After 4 minutes, turn off the heat and pour the soup into a bowl containing the toasted bread. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!


In Tuscan dialect, fish soup is called Cacciucco, which in Italian means a mixture; the term refers to the assemblage of multiple species of fish in a single dish