• Greek Fish Soup Avgolemono

    3 votes
    Greek Fish Soup Avgolemono
    Prep: 15 min Cook: 30 min Servings: 10
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    The Greeks supposedly invented fish stew and there are many versions of the dish. This version, which I adapted from a recipe in the Frugal Gourmet's Three Ancient Cuisines (a great book), is really phenomenal. We served this during a holiday party with greek salad and spanakopita. Friends of mine who have made regular chicken avgolemono and found it pedestrian, thought this was excellent. The addition of tomatoes and pepper really helps. Just close your eyes and you can imagine you are in Rhodos! A great alternative when you feel like Cioppino, but want to try something a little different.


    • 2 quarts fish stock (I used dried japanese dashi as the base for this. Just follow the directions on the dashi and add 1/4 more than it calls for. Dashi is VERY useful to have around. Alternatively, use chicken stock.)
    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 4 medium tomatoes)
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery tops (the leaves above the hearts)
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 pound shrimp, peeled
    • 1 pound catfish fillets (or other white fish) cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 pound other fish or shellfish (I used fresh squid cut into 1 inch pieces. Mussels, clams, salmon, crab or lobster would also work well)
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • Juice of two lemons
    • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
    • Kosher Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Prepare the fish stock.
    2. In a heavy stockpot over medium heat add the olive oil and saute the onions for 5 minutes. Then add the celery tops and tomatoes, stirring occasionally until the onions are softened, about 15 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Beat the whites with a whisk until frothy, then add the yolks and lemon juice and beat further until well mixed. Set aside.
    4. After the onions have softened, add the fish stock to the pot, increase to high and bring to a boil. Add copious amounts of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. The amount of salt will depend on the saltiness of the broth you use, so taste frequently to get this right. I added about a tablespoon of black pepper, so don't hesitate to be generous! Reduce head to simmer and add the fish. After 2-3 minutes add the shellfish and simmer another 3 minutes, then add the shrimp.
    5. After another 3 minutes, beat the egg mixture again. Add a bit of the hot broth to egg mixture gradually while beating to bring up the heat of the egg mixture. After mixing in about 1/2 cup of the broth, add the entire mixture to the pot and stir constantly while the soup thickens with the added egg. Heating the egg mixture prior to adding it to the pot is a tip I got from a prevents the egg from clumping in the soup.
    6. Check seasoning and adjust. You may need to add salt, as the lemon cuts the saltiness quite a bit.
    7. Add the fresh parsley, stir, and serve with a crusty artisan bread and a nice Greek salad. YUM!

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    • Nancy Miyasaki
      Nancy Miyasaki
      I loved this soup, and so did 10 of our good friends. It's really a wonderful combination of flavors. No wonder it's stood the test of 3000 years of foodies! Our kids and their friends liked it too.

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