A modern fish soup inspired by the traditional kakavia, made at Dimitri’s Taverna To Palio Bostani, using Greek ingredients for authentic flavour, but in a fast and easy contemporary manner.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (18 votes)


  • 1 tbsp (20 ml) olive oil 
  • 1 medium (250 g) fennel, thinly sliced, tips reserved and finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 
  • 3 medium (250 g) tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, finely diced 
  • 3 cups (750 ml) fish stock 
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine 
  • 2 strips lemon rind 
  • 185 g red snapper fillet or other fish fillets, skin on 
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) ouzo 
  • 350 g good-quality fresh marinara mix

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and cook, stirring for 6 minutes or until softened, making sure not to colour. Add the tomatoes, fish stock, white wine and lemon rind. Season with salt, and bring to the boil.

2. Meanwhile, gently slash the skin on the snapper on the diagonal – this prevents the fish from curling. Then cut into four pieces.

3. Reduce the heat of the fish stock and fennel mixture. Add the ouzo and marinara mix. Gently lay the prepared red snapper fillets on top. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until the fish is opaque. Taste for seasoning.

4. Ladle into bowls, toping each with red snapper and the reserved fennel tips.

• Ouzo is traditional in Greece, however Pernod or other aniseed flavoured liqueur can be used.