romanesco broccoli and plaice soup

Roman Christmas Eve soup with romanesco broccoli and plaice

romanesco broccoli and plaice soup

For Italian site dedicated to promoting Dutch plaice in Italy I’ve developed this recipe inspired by a classic of the Roman tradition usually served on Christmas eve.

It’s a rich soup prepared with arzilla, the name with which Romans call thornback rays. A lovely fish which I replaced – replaiced, actually 🙂 – with plaice to offer an alternative, faster and easier-to-make version of this wonderful and tasty soup.

You can enjoy this dish not only on Christmas Eve but also all winter since it’s filling, warming and very nutritious.

Minestra della Vigilia con broccolo romanesco e platessa

Serves 4


4 small fillets of plaice, skin and bones removed
2 l. of vegetable stock
½ Romanesco cauliflower
2 anchovies in brine, rinsed
2 peeled garlic cloves
½ glass of dry white wine
400 gr. peeled tomatoes
200 gr. of pasta (linguine or spaghetti)
a bunch of parsley
extra virgin olive oil
dried chilli flakes

Poach the plaice fillets by simmering them gently in a little stock, then remove them from the cooking liquid and break into not too large pieces.
Clean the romanesco and divide it into florets.

Chop the garlic and fry it in a little olive oil together with the anchovies, which need to dissolve completely.
Add the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then add the peeled tomatoes without their liquid (just the tomatoes in chunks).

Cook for about 15 minutes.

Add all the remaining stock (also what you used to poach the plaice so that the soup keeps all the wonderful fish aroma) and then the broken pasta and the broccoli florets, mixing well.
Once the pasta is cooked add the pieces of plaice and serve garnished with some fresh chopped parsley and a pinch of chilli flakes.