Fish soup recipe please

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Sous Chef
Sep 2, 2004
In a week, we'll be back visiting the family in Istanbul (Turkey) and back to the freshest fish on the planet. Literally, when we buy fish, they are still flipping about. I don't eat fish in America (midwest -where I'm from) or here in Germany because I am so spoiled by what truly FRESH fish tastes like. So... in our week in Istanbul, my sister-in-law wants me to teach her a nice fish soup recipe. This will probably be small fish (salt water fish from the Marmara Sea) used for the soup, as larger fish are eaten whole. If anyone has a good fish soup recipe, I'd appreciate it. I don't eat fish anytime I'm away from fresh waters, so I don't even know where to begin. TIA!


Head Chef
Sep 1, 2004
Velochic, I am sincerely envious of you! Have a wonderful visit and DO report back about the foods you enjoyed!

Here’s my adaptation of Justin Wilson’s "Fish Court Bouillion a la Justin"

First the Court Bouillion…

Place 2 quarts of water in a stock pot and add one white onion (peeled and quartered), a couple of carrots (tops removed, scrubbed and sliced into “chunks”), 3 or 4 stalks of celery (keeping the leaves, but slicing the stalks into “chunks”). Bring to a slow boil and add the heads of as many fish as you have. Slowly simmer for about 4 hours, then strain.

In a heavy pot (I use a cast iron dutch oven), make a light-colored roux of 1 cup olive oil and 1 cup flour over low heat.


3 cups chopped white onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper

Saute these until clear.


½ cup chopped parsley
2 cups chopped green onions (or shallots)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups grated carrots

Saute for another ten minutes, stirring constantly.

The strained Court Bouillion
Juice of 2 large lemons
2 cups of chardonnay
5-6 cups of fish (boned and skinned and chopped into bite-sized pieces)
3-4 teaspoons salt
a good bit of fresh ground black pepper
about ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Let the mixture return slowly to a boil, reduce heat and allow to nearly simmer for 3 to 4 hours and DO NOT STIR (to keep from breaking up the fish).


Senior Cook
Aug 27, 2004
This is a very good recipe

Bermuda Chowder
3 lb Fish heads and parts, cut into 2" pieces
2 Celery stalks, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
1 Onion, sliced
1/2 Lemon, sliced
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 Bay leaves
5 1/3 c Water
1 lb Fish fillets (snapper, tilapia, etc)
2 tb Butter
2 Celery stalks, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
9 oz Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 c Dry white wine
2 ts Fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 ts Tomato paste
1/2 ts Paprika
1/2 ts Ground thyme
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash Hot pepper sauce
1 Bay leaf
1 pinch of Cinnamon
1 pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
2 tb Dry sherry
1 tb Dark rum

1.Combine first 8 ingredients in large pot. Add water. Bring to boil, skimming surface occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, skimming surface occasionally.
2.Add fish fillets and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove fish fillets using slotted spoon and flake slightly, then set aside.
3.Strain stock through fine sieve; do not press on solids. Return stock to pot and simmer gently until reduced to 5 cups, about 5 minutes.
4.Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped celery stalks, carrot and chopped onion; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.
5.Mix in all remaining ingredients except sherry and rum. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
6.Discard bay leaf. Mix in sherry and rum. Add flaked fish, and serve immediately.


Head Chef
Sep 2, 2004
Hi Veloholic, I know what you mean about locating a fresh fish in the midwest. Where I am from we are used to flapping fish as well. If I cook fish here in Chicago I normally go to Chinatown or the mini Chinatown closer to Devon to purchase live fish that are removed from the tank and cleaned on the spot.

Anyway, here is a version of Tom Yom that I have experimented (if you land your family ike Thai food) that is made with fish and is very flavorful.

6-7 cups of fish stock - If you have some shrimps you can add their shells as well to make the stock more flavorful.
Fish - I like Tilapia or Trout but any white fish will work - Just cut it into cubes
2 small shallots finely minced
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
2 tsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of tamarind paste (available at most indian and chinese stores)
2 tsp of freshly minced ginger (they use galangal but I get by with ginger)
2 thai red chillies finely chopped (you can seed them if you don't like spicy)
1 bunch of green onion finely chopped
cilantro finely chopped to your liking
1/4 cup rice noodles (I normally like to break mine into bite size strands so it's manageable to drink them without slurping). Just soak them in hot water for 30 minutes or so
1 can of straw mushrooms - Rinse them with cold water and reserve
salt to taste
2 tbsp of canola or any flavorless oil

In a stockpot add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and let it saute for a minute. Next add the shallots and cook the entire mixture until translucent. Next add the stock followed by the tamarind paste and fish sauce. Let the stock come to a boil. Next add the fish and let it cook rapidly for a few minutes until cooked. Now add the straw mushrooms, green onions, noodles and red chillies. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Finely add the cilantro and serve.

It's a very light soup yet it's delicious.

Have a great trip.

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