From Iceland — Soup Tuesday: Fiskisúpa, Icelandic Fish Soup

Soup Tuesday: Fiskisúpa, Icelandic Fish Soup

Published October 20, 2015

Soup Tuesday: Fiskisúpa, Icelandic Fish Soup
York Underwood
Photo by
York Underwood

Fish. It’s hard to think of Iceland without thinking of fish. Fish defines this place. There were even Cod Wars. Fiskisúpa, Icelandic Fish Soup, is a staple food. Everyone has their own recipe. Actually, that’s probably not true. I don’t need to make blanket statements about Iceland. That’s for ads and foreign newspapers. I’m sure lots of people don’t know how to cook. However, this is sort of a tourist magazine. It’s only recently that tourism has surpassed fishing as the largest industry.

I always see celeriac in Bónus (Icelandic grocery store), so I used the opportunity to include something a bit different. The grocery stores here have periodic availability for many items. You have to be creative when your ingredients aren’t all available.

This is our twist on the Icelandic staple.

Fiskisúpa: Icelandic Fish Soup 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes


500g of Arctic Char (or Salmon)

500g of Haddock (or Cod or Plaice)

1     Large Yellow Onion

1     Large Leek

1     Celeriac (Celery Root)

5     Tomatos

500 ml of 18% Cream

1    Can of Tomato Puree

2     Handfuls of fresh Chives

3     Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar

2     Tablespoons of Port or Sherry (I used Pear Cognac)

3     Tablespoons of Dry Red Wine

3     Tablespoons of Butter and enough Vegetable Bouillon to handle three litres of water.

Heavy Cream for garnish


1. Finely dice the onion and leek. In a large pot, lightly sauté onion and leek in butter until soft. Add the sherry and red wine. Reduce for 4 minutes.

Leek and Onions Fiskisúpa

Don’t let celeriac’s freakish exterior intimidate you.

Celeriac Fiskisúpa

2. Peel and julienne your celeriac. Add the celeriac and tomato puree to the pot and sauté for 4 minutes until soft.

Celeriac Julienned Fiskisúpa

3. Add 3 litres of  water with vegetable bouillon and toss in the red wine vinegar. Boil for 15 minutes. Thinly dice up the tomatoes.

Diced Tomatoes Fiskisúpa

Skin the arctic char and set the skin off to the side. Cube all the fish (arctic char and haddock)

Arctic Char Fiskisúpa

5. Add the tomatoes and fish. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the 18% cream and season well. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Don’t boil. Serve in a big bowl with a drizzle of cream and sprinkle on some fresh chives. Goes great with sour dough bread and crispy fish skin (fry the skin you saved earlier in a pan with oil and sprinkle with salt).


Remember to share this recipe with your friends and loved ones.

Also, send us your recipes. Let’s get through this winter together.

One Soup Tuesday at a time.

WTF is a Soup Tuesday?

As the sun yet again makes her draining descent towards winter solstice, it has become clear: fall has arrived. The darkness in store will likely bring a lot of you down, but don’t fret or give up—there are a number of methods for fighting off the winter blues: Reading, lýsi, sex, drugs, alcohol, and—of course—soup. Now, doing most of those things would be mostly inappropriate, if not illegal, at the Reykjavík Grapevine’s offices (if it were one of those “appropriate” offices)—except for maybe the lýsi and reading. And of course, the soup.

Lýsi is kinda disgusting and reading is for nerds, so to combat the coming full-scale attack of the SADs, we decided to started a new tradition to help us make it through the coming winter: SOUP TUESDAYS. Yes! Soup Tuesdays! Every Tuesday, we’ll be making a different soup in our shitty little office, document the process and then show you how to make one for yourself.

You can also send us your best recipes (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email), with a photo, so we can share soup knowledge throughout the world. Together we can make it through the bad weather.

Solace and Solidarity in Soup.

Happy Soup Tuesday.


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