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Fish Soup


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Fish Soup


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Fish Soup

You must have read somewhere there’s no good fish soup without that verboten shellfish, but wait until you taste this one! It simply has too much going for it to be missing anything. I eliminate the broth-making step by wrapping the heads and tails of fish loosely in (look out for those expandable muslin bags: Fill them up like a sock, and tie the open end!), cooking them right along with the soup and then discarding them without any mess. Cooking the soup with the heads intensifies its flavor and imparts a light gelatinous texture. This is every bit as interesting as the traditional French version containing shellfish: Besides, the Moroccan version never had any.


  • Prep Time : 20 min
  • Cook Time : 45 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 5 min


12 Servings


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in chunks Head and tail of a large salmon, tile fish, or any other big fish, quartered, loosely but securely wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 large potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • Good pinch ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 good pinches saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) water
  • 3 -4 pounds boneless, skinless fish such as salmon, tile, or snapper, cut in 1-inch cubes Freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot. Coarsely grind the leeks, celery, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and red bell pepper in a food processor. Add to the oil. Sauté the ground mixture until all liquids evaporate. Add the cheesecloth, canned tomatoes, potatoes, wine, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, paprika, saffron, salt, and water. Bring to a boil again.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered for 45 minutes. Add the fish and pepper, and cook another few minutes, just until the fish is cooked through. Press on the cheesecloth to release as much liquid as you can before discarding. Adjust the texture and seasonings.

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Bitayavon Spring 2012) – Subscribe Now


About Levana Kirschenbaum


Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after thirty two years), and the pioneer in Kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, and gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking. She gives weekly cooking demos, and gets cooking demo engagements around the country. She has published "Levana's Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone", "Levana Cooks Dairy-Free!”, and a book-dvd set based on her demo series called "In Short Order”. She has just published her latest cookbook: “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple”. She is launching a line of all-natural spelt desserts, called, what else, Lévana. Her weekly cooking demos take place at her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Get ready for dinner and a show! Go onto her website to find out more about her demos, cookbooks, desserts, and entertaining stories at www.levanacooks.com

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