Greek Classics/ Main Course/ Seafood/ Soup

Greek Fisherman’s Soup: Kakavia

Kakavia, Greek Fisherman’s Soup, is a classic recipe. Use the freshest whole fish that you can find and follow my recipe to create a healthy and delicious meal.

Kakavi is actually the name of the pot that was used by fishermen to cook the small fish that was not suitable for the market. The soup was simply made by simmering the small fish (sometimes using seawater) with olive oil, onions, and tomatoes until a rich broth was created.

Watch the video tutorial:

My modern-day recipe is made using fresh whole fish and vegetables. I simmer them in a tomato-based broth until a hearty soup is made.

The whole fish is where all of the flavors will come from so, make sure to use the entire fish (including the head).

Feel free to add any of the following ingredients to your soup:

  • white fish
  • clams
  • shrimp
  • mussels
  • squid
  • your favorite vegetables

Greek Fisherman’s soup comes together in one pot. Toast some bread to soak up the broth and dinner is served in no time!

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The lemony version of this soup is just as delicious. Get that recipe here.

Lemony Fish Soup: Psarosoupa

Greek Lemony Fish Soup

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Greek Fisherman's Soup: Kakavia

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: 6

Kakavia, Greek Fisherman's Soup, is a classic recipe. Use the freshest whole fish that you can find and follow my recipe to create a healthy and delicious meal.


  • 2 pounds whole white fish (red snapper, cod, monkfish…), scaled and cleaned
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) canned tomatoes, pureed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 7-8 cups of water



Place the water and fish into a pot and season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.


Transfer the fish to a platter and strain the broth to catch any fish bones. Discard the bones.


Wipe down the pot and add the onion, olive oil, and celery to the pot. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and warm through.


Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.


Add the pureed tomato and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.


Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender.


Carefully remove the bones and skin from the fish and discard them. Cut the fish into chunks and add them to the soup.


Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and toasted bread. Enjoy!

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