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Fish Stock

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Randy Mon
Cook time 50 mins
For this soup, it really is worth it to make your own fish stock. 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium carrots, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 large leek, split lengthwise, rinsed between layers, and cut into several pieces; separate white parts from green
  • 2 pounds non-oily fish heads (gills removed) and bones*
  • 3 or 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 or 4 sprigs thyme
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and leek whites and sauté, stirring, until limp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add fish heads and bones and cook, stirring, until flesh begins to turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Add leek greens, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, wine, and 6 to 8 cups water (just enough to cover). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Skim any foam.

  2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth. Set stock aside (you will have about 9 cups).

  3. *Check with the fishmonger at your farmers' market, or order ahead from a seafood shop.

  4. Make ahead: 1 day, covered and chilled; up to 3 months frozen.