Mediterranean-Style Fish Soup Recipe

on Oct 07, 2022 in Soups & Stews

I put this recipe together after looking at a number of different Medditerranean-style fish soup recipes online and in cookbooks. It's an early iteration and likely needs some improvement.


  • 2 lbs. fish filet, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and freshly ground (or 1 tsp. ground cumin)
  • 1 ½ tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and freshly ground (or 1 tsp. ground coriander)
  • 1 tsp. grains of paradise, freshly ground (substitute ½ tsp. ground black pepper if not available)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 qt. chicken or vegerable broth
  • ½ cup white wine (or 1 tsp. white wine vinegar)
  • fresh juice of a large lemon
  • 2 green onions, chopped (including white parts, which should be minced)
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)


Mix the cumin, coriander, grains of paradise, turmeric, paprika and red pepper together. Toss the fish pieces with the spice mixture in a bowl and set aside for later.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, pepper, celery, and carrot until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the salt.

Add the tomatoes, broth, and wine to the pot, stirring gently. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot cover. Add the fish and all the spice mixture to the pot, very gently stirring it in. Cook the fish in the stew until done, about 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat to minimize the fish continuing to cook. Very gently stir the lemon juice, green onion, parlsey, and cilantro into the pot.

Serve immediately (so the fish is not overcooked) with a generous garnish of fresh parsely and cilantro, along with a slice of lemon and drizzle of good olive oil.

Ideas & Tips

  • You can use pre-ground cumin and coriander, but toasting and grinding your own seeds is worth the effort for this dish
  • Along with the obvious accompaniment of good bread with olive oil or butter, olives and pickled vegetables make a great side for this sort of soup


  • 2022-10-07: First iteration after looking at a number of similar soups online and in my cookbooks
Drew Miller
Half ogre, half human, all dork (he/him)

Howdy folks! I'm Drew. I'm married to Deirdre and am a dad to 6 great kids.

By day, I help engineering teams do their best work and have their best careers, focusing on HTTP APIs, distributed systems, and developer tools & experiences.

On nights and weekends, I enjoy cooking, sailing, reading, tabletop and video games, and exploring wild places.