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Hearty Basque Tuna and Potato Soup

  • Albacore tuna
  • All White Fish
  • Soup / Stew
  • Heart healthy
  • Spanish / Portuguese
  • Active Time:30 min
  • Total Time:45 min
  • Servings:2-3
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Julia Gartland

This Spanish Basque Country soup, called marmitako, combines albacore tuna, potatoes, sweet bell peppers, and lots of fruity olive oil. It is comfort in a bowl. Serve with a dollop of Romesco sauce for added richness and authenticity.


  • 1 portion albacore tuna (8 to 12 ounces), cut into ¾-inch pieces Available In Our Premium Subscription Box

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into ¾-inch pieces

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika or regular paprika

  • 1 cup bottled clam juice, fish stock, or chicken broth

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted green Spanish olives

  • Chopped parsley, crusty bread, and Romesco sauce for serving


Season the Tuna

In a small bowl, season the tuna with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cook the Vegetables

In a large saucepan or medium Dutch oven, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant.

Simmer the Soup

Add the clam juice and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and the potato is beginning to break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tuna and olives, and simmer until the tuna is barely cooked through, about 1 minute.

Finish and Serve

Transfer to shallow bowls. Drizzle generously with olive oil and garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty bread alongside.

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

It’s only fitting to serve a wine from the Basque region with this classic dish. Txakoli, pronounced “chacoli,” is a very dry white wine with a natural effervescence, high acidity, and low alcohol content. It pairs beautifully with olives and sweet bell peppers.

Level It Up

This simple soup is infinitely customizable. Sauté thinly sliced fennel with the onion, add a cup of chopped canned tomatoes and a pinch of saffron, and this becomes a simple bouillabaisse.

Change It Up

This soup is even better the next day. The flavors develop intensity and richness. Gently rewarm over a low flame or medium power in the microwave.

Lighten It Up

Filled with many heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and lean proteins, albacore tuna is a nutritional powerhouse.


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