Baccala Soup

Baccala soup is a delicious Mediterranean style seafood  soup using salt cod (bacalao) and as many shellfish as you desire to make it  your own special meal.

Baccala Soup

Baccala Soup

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe of the day is for Baccala soup, which I am posting with Fish Friday Foodies. I had meant to post this one in December for Feast of the Seven Fishes but RL got in the way (as happens sometimes, as we are real people).

I really adored this served with glasses of wine and  chunks of crusty buttered French  bread. It truly was a feast.

This uses salt cod (bacalao) which needs to be soaked in water for a bit or it is just too salty and a bit unpleasant. Once it  is soaked thoroughly, it is fine. Just keep it in water inside a zippy inside a bowl in the fridge and change the water twice a day and it is very easy.

Clams are also not a problem- I ask you to soak those for an hour to spit grit. I actually just do it changing the water until I don’t see grit, which may take more or less time, depending. Clams don’t mind bathing in a bowl  of water for several  hours if needed- they don’t spoil since they are still alive.

Of course, if they don’t open after cooking, they are kerput and you should not eat those.

The calabrian chiles are a little bit spicy but very delicious. I know it’s a Bobby Flay thing, but let’s not let him  have  all of those. Of course, if you can’t find them, just make do with a pinch of dried chili flakes.

This soup is very forgiving- even though  baccala is mostly about the fish, you can  add and subtract all you like.  Even going so far as 100% fish or maybe with all shellfish. I even see Aldi carries a frozen seafood mix now that is also good- it will have various things like calamari, shrimp, mussels and scallops. All the shellfish takes very little  time to  cook.

Baccala Soup

Fish Friday Foodies January 2020

Mediterranean Fish & Seafood

  • Baccala Soup

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    Baccala Soup

    Baccala Soup

    Sue Lau
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 20 mins
    Cook Time 34 mins
    Cod Soaking Time 2 d
    Servings 4


    • 1 pound dried salt cod
    • 1 pound large head-on shrimp
    • 1-1/2 pounds littleneck clams
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 1 cup diced carrots
    • 6 ounces dry white wine
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
    • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
    • 1 pound small white potatoes quartered
    • 2 tablespoons chopped jarred calabrian chili peppers
    • 32 ounces fish stock or clam juice
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch stirred into cold water


    • Soak dried cod in cold water, changing water every 12 hours, refrigerated, for 24-48 hours.
    • Dice soaked cod in chunks.
    • Soak clams in cold salt water for one hour or more to allow them to "spit" out sand or grit.
    • Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in oil until the onion softens.
    • Deglaze the pan with white wine.
    • Add the seasonings, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, fish stock and cod chunks.
    • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
    • Add cornstarch with water and stir until thickened slightly.
    • Add remaining seafood (drained, of course) and cook another 5-10 minutes or until clams open and shrimp become opaque and curled.
    • Discard any clams that do not open.


    From the kitchen of
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    Baccala Soup

6 responses

  1. Too funny. You mentioned that gluten free scares you and then you post a recipe using salt cod that scares the heck out of me. LOL Your soup looks very delicious.

    • It’s really easy- just soak the stinky salt out of it. It’s like a longer thaw or even as if you were marinating- with an occasional rinse. Just make sure if you keep some frozen to double or triple wrap because the odor permeates. As for gluten free- there are just too much hidden gluten to make me comfortable, and I am never as happy with gluten free flour in my baking. And I don’t manage to get any practice into my schedule.

  2. This sounds delicious. Can you believe I’ve never had salt cod? I adore clams, and have used them in stir-fries, but I always get nervous about killing them before cooking them after a “certain incident.” I need to try this if I can find salt cod.

  3. I just happen to have a piece of salt cod hanging around! It’s a very common ingredient in Brazil as well as Portugal. Your soup looks chock full of goodness and flavor, Sue!

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