Tarpon Springs Soup

This is an adaptation of a recipe from a Florida cookbook I read in preparation for the first dinner I gave in the series of “Dinners from the Regions of America” at the Santa Fe Bar & Grill in 1982-83. It is delicious and has its Tarpon Springs and therefore Greek influence in the lemon-egg-garlic enriching and thickening treatment at the end. Sea bass, monkfish, lingcod, or halibut would do in place of the red snapper, but not as well.


  • 2 pounds red snapper fillets, skinned, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, chopped
  • 3 sprigs parsley, stemmed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, very finely chopped freshly ground pepper


Mix the fish, onion, celery, and herbs together and let marinate for 1 hour. Then separate the vegetables from the fish and put them in a pot. Add the oil, ¼ cup of the fish stock, bay leaves and other herbs from the marinade. Cover and sweat over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the fish, remaining fish stock, and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Poach gently until the fish is opaque throughout and just cooked, about 7 minutes. Remove the fish, leaving the soup in the pot. Beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic together. Bring the soup to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the egg mixture. Stir until the soup thickens a bit. Check the seasoning and return the fish to the soup. Serve immediately.