Traditional recipe for Greek fish soup with potatoes and vegetables also known as Psarosoupa. The most delicious dish made from scratch for a healthy and cozy family dinner.
This healthy fish soup with potatoes and vegetables is one of those recipes which give you amazing results with minimal effort. It's a recipe coming from the Greek islands usually made when the weather gets cold, mostly because it's a very warm and comfortable meal.
This fish soup gets thickened by pureeing some of the vegetables and by adding a mixture of egg and fresh lemon juice called "avgolemono" in Greek. Don't be surprised by the use of avgolemono, once you try this soup you will be making it again and again!
The fish and the rest of the vegetables are served on a large plate next to the soup, according to the Cretan traditional way. A drizzle of lemon and olive oil dressing on top of the fish is obligatory! This is one of my two most favorite fish recipes (the other being these healthy salmon burgers) and I believe it will become your favorite too!
I don’t want to brag, but my mom makes the best fish soup in Crete. Seriously! And I'm not the only one saying this… Everyone who has ever tasted this fish soup with avgolemono and vegetables confirms that it’s the best soup he’s ever eaten. So make sure you pin it, bookmark it, print it, or do whatever you do with your favorite recipes because you’ll want to make it again and again!
And my mom's secret? Except for the pureed vegetables which give body and flavor to the soup, a few cloves (just 2-3) lend warmth and compliment the aroma of the fish. My mom also says that the cloves cut down any excess fishiness that can be unpleasant to some people.
My Greek fish soup basic ingredients
- white fatty fish with skin and bones (my favorite is red snapper and some cod)
- Vegetables (potatoes, carrot, tomato, red onion)
- bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- rice (optional)
- e.v. olive oil
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
How do you make fish soup from scratch?
- Prepare the fish (rub with lemon juice, then rinse with water and drain)
- First boil the vegetables until almost done and then add the fish to the pot (the fish needs less time to cook)
- Once cooked, transfer all the fish and most of the vegetables from the pot to a serving plate. Then puree the rest in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
- Add some rice and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is done.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and egg mixture (avgolemono). This will make the soup extra smooth and velvety.
The lemon juice and egg mixture -Avgolemono
In this fish soup, except from pureeing some vegetables, another thickening technique is the use of avgolemono. You may find it strange, but it's a Greek classic, used in many soups and other dishes. An egg gets beaten with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and then it is gradually added to the soup. This mixture is called “avgolemono” from the words avgo (egg) and lemoni (lemon).
The only thing you have to be careful of is to gradually add some of the hot soup to the bowl with the avgolemono, about half a cup at a time. This will temper the mixture and will prevent it from curdling. Make sure to whisk constantly with a fork/whisk during this procedure. Then add the mixture to the pot with the rest of the soup and stir to combine. And don’t worry, the residual heat of the fish soup will completely cook the egg!
- Don’t omit the cloves! They play a major role in this recipe.
- Use good quality fish. Fresh fish is always best but a good quality frozen one will also give you great results.
- Red snapper and some pieces of cod is my family’s favorite combination, but you may use other types of white fatty fish, too.
- It's very important to use skin-on and bone-in fish, since this is going to give flavor to the soup.
- If you have any leftovers you can reheat this soup gently, without letting it come to a boil for the egg not to curdle.
- A general rule to estimate how much rice you’ll need for the soup is to use 2 tablespoons rice per serving (and a little less than 2 cups of soup per serving)
You may also like these similar recipes:
Fish Molly/Kerala style fish stew from Pepper Delight (Indian cuisine). An easy, fragrant and exotic recipe straight from Kerala!
Easy baked Mediterranean octopus in foil
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Fish soup - Greek islands recipe (Psarosoupa)
For the soup
- 2 pounds (900 grams) white fatty fish cut in 1.5-inch slices, with skin and bones (I suggest using red snapper and some cod)
- 7 cups water
- 1 ½ pounds new potatoes or sliced potatoes
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup rice (any rissoto or soup rice will do. Don't use basmati/jasmin or parboiled rice)
For the avgolemono
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Prepare the fish: Scale the fish (if not scaled) and rub it with some lemon juice. Rinse well and drain.
- Make the soup: Transfer the water, the potatoes, the carrot, the tomato, the onion, the parsley, the bay leaves, the salt and pepper, and the cloves to a large pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once the water starts to boil cook for 15 minutes.Add the fish and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish and the vegetables. Transfer it to a serving plate but keep aside 4-5 pieces of potatoes, half the carots, the tomato, the onion and the parsley. Cover the serving plate with foil and keep it warm inside a warm oven.
- Puree the vegetables and add the rice: Transfer the soup to another pot, passing it through a strainer just to catch any fish bones or clove pieces. Discard the bay leaves, the cloves and the skin from the tomato. Add the the vegetables you kept aside to the pot and puree using an immersion blender (you can also transfer the vegetables and some of the liquid in a normal blender and blend until smooth). If you want it thicker, add a few more potato pieces and blend some more. Return the soup to the stove, add the rice, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is done. Turn off the stove.
- Make the avgolemono: Transfer the egg, the lemon juice and the olive oil to a large bowl and beat with a fork to combine. Add 3 cups of the soup to the lemon-egg mixture gradually, half a cup at a time, beating constantly with a fork to prevent the egg from curdling. Return the mixture to the pot with the rest of the fish soup and stir well. Taste and adjust the salt, the pepper and the lemon juice to your liking.
- Lemon and olive oil dressing: Transfer the ingredients for the dressing to a shaker or jar and shake well to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the plate with the fish and the vegetables and serve them next to the soup. Eat!
- Remove skin and bones before eating the fish.
- If you use frozen fish, thaw it according to the directions and proceed with the recipe.
- If you have any leftovers, store in the fridge. Reheat the soup very gently over low heat and don't let it come to a boil because the egg may curdle.
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If you like this recipe, Pin it!
Michele @ Bacon Fatte
Beautiful recipe! Pinned (twice) and looking forward to making it very soon... Thank you for sharing!
Thank you very much Michele!!!
heather (delicious not gorgeous)
i'm used to adding egg to soup (like egg drop soup) for more protein, but never to thicken it! that sounds cool. and it's so interesting to see that you take all the fish and veggies out of the soup for serving; normally i only do that if i'm sharing cooking water between a few things and am too lazy to get out another pot (;
It's like making 2 different dishes in one try! 😉
Oh my gosh Makos! This looks freaaaaaaaaaaaaaakin' awesome! The only other fish soup I ever had was made by my mom also and I kinda missed it. I never really attempted to make it because I'm always afraid I'd end up making fish mush instead haha! But now I definitely must try this, especially since it's your mom's recipe! I love learning about the egg and lemon thickening method, the soup looks so fantastically creamy! Whee! Can you tell I'm excited?
Thank you Joyce! Yes, moms make the best soups, right?
If it wasn't for that 14th "a" in freaaakin' I would never have guessed you're excited! Haha!
This sounds interesting! Although I hail from a coastal region with a lot of seafood in my daily diet, I never have tried a fish soup. Another new dish for me to try, Thank You for the recipe.
You're so lucky Akhila, coming from a coastal region! I'll be expecting some Kerala seafood recipes!!! 🙂
This has become one of my favorite dishes, thank you for the recipe
Thank you Maria, I'm very happy to hear that 🙂
Katherine V Maniatis
I hate fish and love this soup! Thank you for putting healthy fish back in my diet!
Hi Katherine, I'm so glad you like this soup! It's one of my favorite 🙂
Reminds me of when I was little and my aunt made this. We usually make it with chicken.
I was always looking for a recipe to make it with fish. I can’t wait to make this. Thank you for posting!
Came back from a holiday in Crete craving more of this dish. Delighted to find such a well explained recipe, and the results were every bit as delicious as I ate in Greece. Now if only I could have the sea and sunshine to go with it too!
Hi Georgie, that's great!
This soup is my mom's specialty, so I 'm very happy you liked it! Hope you have the chance to visit Greece soon again!