Merlangius merlangus

How do you cook fish-soup?

The fish-soup I am familiar with is the one that my mother and grandmother are cooking.
Different options of fish, according to the period of year and availability.
Sometimes only one kind of fish or a variety of fishes.

But the main ingredients were always the same.

  • sea fish
  • potatoes
  • leaf celery
  • carrots
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice

The result

The result has always been a “white” soup with lemon juice.
A tasty soup that smells like the Mediterranean sea and offers a fresh feeling in your mouth.

A surprising tasty “red” fish-soup

I travelled to Serbia many years ago with a native Serbian friend.
During our trip, we ate in a restaurant, (forgive me I cannot remember it), next to the river Savva.

Sava and Danube river in Belgrade Serbia

Sava river, Belgrade

And there we were, served an extremely tasty fish-soup.
The fish or fishes were river kind.
The soup was red from tomato and peppers.
It was spicy, not lemon-fresh.

Honestly, it is a soup I still remember in a way and looking forward to eating it once again.
It is a very good reason to organise a trip to Serbia.

“We need a Serbian cooking lover to help us remember and cook this admirable fish soup, Anybody out there?”

A small research in my library and a surprise

Last Saturday I went to my fisherman to buy fish.
And in front of me, there were 2 big heads of “Merlangius merlangus” and their caviar!

I couldn’t resist them, I would cook a great soup with these.

And then my memory together with my desire to look into things did the rest….

Let me check my favourite cooking book series*. How do we make fish soup around Greece?

And the results were surprising.
Almost all of the recipes I read contained tomato in them. They were “red”, nothing like the one I am used to in my family house.
So I tried one of them.

* Traditional Greek recipes – Fytraki publishing

The final taste result

The tasting result was good but not something I would be eager to cook again and again.

Of course, I am defenately going to try the rest of the recipes I read in my book.

Today I am posting the recipe I tried, maybe YOU will love it.
After all, we are different people with different and unique taste filters, aren’t we?



Do I want to eat it tomorrow?
Do I want to cook it again?



fish-soup with saltsisto from Kastoria
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • a big head fish (I put 2)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 big carrot
  • leaf selery
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 3-4 potatoes
  • salt
  • saltsisto
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices of bread
  • some wallnuts
  • vinegar


  1. heat the olive oil, add the flour and whisk it until it takes a little colour
  2. add the red pepper, the tomato cut in small pieces, salt, 1 lt of water, the carrot in small pieces, the leaf selery and the onion (do not cut it)
  3. when starting to boil add the head of the fish and the potatoes
  4. when they are all cooked, take off the head and put it aside, we will serve them seperately
  5. for the saltsisto, mix the walnuts with the garlic and bread (soaked into water & vinegar), add some of the fish stock until it becomes a creamy sauce and pour it over the fish
  6. serve the soup with some vinegar and the fish with the "saltsisto sauce"
Cuisine: Greek |


info/photos used from