Vastese fish soup is a dish born from the encounter between two communities, one of fishermen and the other of farmers. “Lu vrudatte”, unlike other fish, doesn’t require being fried. Ingredients are extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, green pepper and “mezzo tempo tomato”: indigenous Vastese tomatoes that you can find in summer season.
On fish, we’ll use a variety of at least seven, and usually include stingray, mullet, cuttlefish, goby big head, codfish, and mantis shrimp.
In this period in Vasto there is the “fishing down”, so the choice falls on what I could find in the fish market, strictly local “small scale fishing”: goby big head, codfish, mullets, mantis shrimp, sole fish and clams.
Clean and wash the fish, leaving their heads intact. In a wide, flat crock pot, commonly called a “tijelle”, while it’s still cold, put an abundant amount of extra-virgin olive oil, a tiny bit of water, two cloves of garlic, about 500 g of chopped up “mezzo tempo” tomato, some chopped up green pepper, a chili pepper, parsley and salt to taste.
On the stove, at moderate heat, as soon as it begins to boil, slowly and gently add in the different varieties of fish one at a time in order of hardness. Begin with the mantis shrimp, then the mullets, at so on.
While it’s cooking, don’t move the fish at all. After about fifteen minutes our soup is ready.
Nothing left but to try it!
Translated by Alan Glenn Embree
[Credits | Photography: Carmelita Cianci]