Its ingredients and preparation are very flexible. It is made from the “catch of the day”, along with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, white wine, tomatoes, and parsley. Now, with modern prosperity, there many variations based on additional flavourings added, which might be saffron, nutmeg, or salted anchovy.
The fish is cleaned and cut into pieces. The vegetables are chopped and lightly softened in oil. White wine is added to them, let evaporate, then hot water and tomatoes are added, simmered for a bit, then fish is added (first the fish that takes longer to cook, then the fish that takes less time to cook.) It is cooked for an hour, seasoned, then pressed through a food mill. It needs to be pressed through a food mill, rather than put through a blender or food processor, to remove bones, spikey bits, etc.
It is served hot over toasted bread in bowls.
There’s a particular variety called “Ciuppin di Gallinella”, meaning made from scorpion fish.
Ciuppin was originally made with fish in the catch that had less marketable value, such as spiny fish. The spiny bits of them would be caught going through the strainer.
The dish was carried to Argentina and Uruguay by Italians emigrating there. Today Argentines and Uruguayans know the dish as “el chupín.” They also serve it on toasted bread, rubbed with fresh garlic, but the fish and seafood are served in chunks, not passed through a food mill.
“Ciuppin” means a “small soup.”