Bourgeto from Aigialeia
It is more stew than soup being much thicker than most fish soups. Spicy and delicious, it is found in the Ionian islands and the Peloponnese, where it goes by the names borieto, brodeto and bourdeto. The name comes from the Italian brodetto, which means broth.
The photos were taken at Meltemi where the owner and cook, Efi Apostolopoulou prepared the bourgeto, which we afterwards savoured.
Recipe for Bourgeto
The fish that one usually puts into the bourgeto of Aigialeia are monkfish, ray and fresh cod, but scorpion fish, grouper or gurnard, fish in other words that produce gelatine. The first three were in the photograph. The other ingredients were 6 large onions, 1 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Clean, scale and wash the fish, dry and sprinkle them with salt. Place the onions along with the fish in a large sauce pan with the oil, pour in enough water to cover, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes over high heat. About 2-3 minutes before the soup is done, add the lemon juice. Efi was not afraid of grinding quite a lot of pepper into the stew to balance the sweetness of the onions and the result was exquisite.
We dunked chunks of hot bread into the bourgeto and they were finger-lickin’ good, while we drank local wines made of Roditis (Rouvalis) and Sideritis (Acheon Vineyards).
Both tavernas never put anything else in their bourgeto, considering the addition of potatoes, celery or carrots – of often added to fish soups – to be sacrilege.