Aljotta (Maltese Fish Soup)

Aljotta has roots in French bouillabaisse, but with a very different flavor profile, thanks to the addition of mint, lemon, and rice. The dish is especially popular during Lent in the predominantly Catholic country. If you wish, you can add any seafood you like to further flavor the soup—shrimp or squid would work well.
15 minutes 4 servings

1/2 cup rice (white or brown)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped or crushed by hand
2 cups fish stock
1 cup water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb white fish fillets (halibut, haddock, cod)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onion is translucent.
  3. Add marjoram, tomato paste, tomatoes, fish stock, water, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add fish and cook until just flaking, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, break up the fish into bite sized pieces.
  6. Add cooked rice, lemon juice, parsley, and mint. Stir to combine and serve.