Most great outdoor ventures start with this really early morning dilemma: should I sleep or should I force myself to go and have fun? A great fishing trip is no exception. When the alarm clock rings it is dark outside; it is chilly even at the end of spring, and one can feel torn between a short term choice of sleep or entertainment –at least 2 cups of coffee later. If you ever had to face a dilemma like that, well… you know what they say: Success stories follow the early risers.
Our story begins with a group of friends from the Poseidonion Grand Hotel in Spetses, a wooden fishing boat and a welcoming smooth sea, that soon started sparking with reflections of the most beautiful dawn colors. The motivation for this trip was simple, yet powerful: a delicious kakavia – the Greek fishermen’s fish soup, that Mr. Argiris Arnaoutis, owner of the boat would cook for us on location.
People usually bond on boats. On a small scale fishing trip, there can be more laughing and talking than actual fishing; but it is amazing to watch people work together helping each other, teaching one another; to be daring and cautious in the same time… After a few hours at the sea, everyone feels different, better. Overacting minds calm and there is less talking. The water gazing offers perspective and the refreshing clear breeze builds up a healthy appetite…
I have to say, the patience skill practiced during the fishing, was nothing compared to the patience of the friends during the cooking. The aromas of this mouthwatering, golden colored broth soup, attracted everyone around the pot that was simmering filled with fresh fish; and the waiting was totally worth it as you can imagine: the fish that were served separately and tasted first were light and flavorful; as for the broth that was served last and accompanied by big pieces of local bread, it was seriously delicious and gratifying.
I know that for a fine dish it takes more than good quality ingredients. During this special experience at Spetses, we had it all: fresh local products, a caring cook, a truly inspiring environment and last -but not least- wonderful company.
The kakavia soup recipe
-by Mr. Argiris Arnaoutis-
⋅ 2-3 kilos of different types of fish for soup (such as scorpion fish, hake, white grouper,
greater weever and other small whole fish suitable for boiling)
⋅ potatoes -cut in large chunks- enough to cover the bottom of a big pot
⋅ 2 onions, cut in large chunks
⋅ coarse sea salt
⋅ sea water
⋅ olive oil
⋅ the juice of 2 lemons
⋅ bread to accompany the kakavia
⋅ pepper to season
Clean the fish, the potatoes and onions. Cover the bottom of the pot with the potato chunks and onions and eason with sea salt. Put the fish in layers in the pot, placing first the most firm fish. Fill with sea water; just enough to cover the fish and generously pour olive oil over them. Put the lid on and boil over high heat for about 20 minutes, then reduce to a lower heat and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remove from the fire. Serve hot; the fish separately from the broth. Season with pepper and accompany with bread.
We would like to give special thanks to Antonis Vordonis, Kostas Panagakis, Stamatis Marmarinos, Maria Strati and Argiris Arnaoutis for the wonderful Spetses experience.
photos by christos drazos
words by maria alipranti