Caciucco soup from Livorno

Clodagh McKenna makes a hearty Italian fish and shellfish soup
By Clodagh McKenna
Caciucco soup from Livorno
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 500 g white fish, (ling, haddock, whiting, hake, pollack), filleted (keep the bones)
  • 250 g prawns or shrimps, shelled, but keep shells
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and diced
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 175 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250 g squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 250 g mix of mussels and clams
  • 6 slices sourdough bread


1. Firstly make the fish broth/stock by placing the fish bones, prawn and shrimp shells, carrot, celery, onion into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes and then strain through a sieve.

2. While the stock is simmering, place a large frying pan over a low heat and drizzle in a dollop of olive oil followed by the garlic, diced chilli and the sage leaves. Leave to cook for 1 minute.

3. Pour the white wine and tomato purée into the pan followed by the squid. Stir and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. After 15 minutes add in the white fish and enough fish broth to completely cover and a bit more. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the squid is tender.

5. Tip in the shellfish, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until all the shells have opened.

6. At this point place the sliced sourdough bread on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and rub with extra virgin olive oil. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180C/gas 4 for 5 minutes.

7. Arrange 6 soup bowls and place one slice of the toasted bread at the bottom of each bowl. Pour the soup on top of the bread and serve. Finish with some chopped parsley.

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