Quick and easy fish soup with warm Eastern Mediterranean spices, loads of fresh herbs, and a big splash of lemon juice. The perfect one-pot meal for any night of the week. Be sure to read through for important tips!

Mediterranean fish soup

I have a thing for seafood in a warm, aromatic broth. Tasty, lean, and satisfying, it's the kind of warm-your-belly meal that won't leave you feeling heavy.

A few favorites here on the blog that fall under this category include: steamed clams, salmon soup with potatoes (so velvety and hearty), and Sicilian fish stew with garlic and capers. See, when you cook the Mediterranean way, you're bound to find many ways to fish soup--the seasoning possibilities are endless.

And today's easy fish soup recipe is another pot of goodness that is so worth a try. It's easy to make and loaded with warm Eastern Mediterranean spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric + a big finish of fresh herbs and lemon juice (do not skip the lemon juice, makes all the difference in adding a bit of zing to balance all the warm flavors). You'll want to serve it with some good bread to mop up the delicious, extra herby broth!

What kind of fish to use?

A moderately firm fish fillet such as halibut, cod, sea bass, or even red snapper will work in this fish stew. I like to use a combination of fish, this time it was sea bass and red snapper (both were filleted and the skins were removed).

Can you put frozen fish in fish soup?

If quality fresh fish is not available to you, you can use frozen wild fish. I prefer to thaw the fish in the fridge overnight and use it per the recipe, but you can add it to the soup while still frozen and allow the fish to thaw and fully cook in the soup (it will take a little bit longer, somewhere around 6 to 7 minutes or so)

You can also use shell fish like shrimp or bits of lobster tail in this recipe, added in with the fish toward the end of cooking time.

Bowls of Mediterranean Fish Soup with Lemon Wedges to the Side

How do you make fish soup from scratch?

For those of us who are more visual, here is the step-by-step for how to make fish soup (the print-friendly recipe with the ingredient list is just below):

  • Cut and season the fish
    You're going to start by making a spice mixture of coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper), turmeric, and paprika. Cut up the fish fillets into small chunks of equal size (about 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes), then give them a good toss with kosher salt, black pepper, and a couple teaspoons of your beautiful spice mixture. Set in the fridge for now.
    Chunks of fish cut up into pieces and seasoned with spice mixture
  • Make the broth
    Grab a large pot or Dutch oven to make your tasty, aromatic broth. Start by cooking some chopped red onion, red bell pepper, celery and garlic in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until fragrant. Season with kosher salt and the rest of the spice mixture you used for the fish. Add canned whole tomatoes with their juices, white wine, and low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock if that's what you have). Let the broth simmer for a good 20 minutes or so.
    Tomato broth for fish stew
  • Add the fish
    When the broth is ready, slide the fish in and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with your fork (remember that fish cooks quickly, and it will continue to cook some in the hot broth even after you remove it from the heat).
  • Finish with the fresh herbs and citrus
    Stir in chopped fresh parsley and cilantro (about 1 cup each) and chopped green onions, both white and green parts. Finish with a splash of lemon juice.
    fish soup garnished with parsley and cilantro with a side of cut lemons

What to serve with fish soup?

Remember that fish soup is best served right away so the fish does not overcook in the hot broth. I love to serve it with extra lemon wedges on the side (more citrus is never a bad idea when it comes to fish) and a good loaf of rustic, crusty bread to sop up all the brothy goodness! Or, if you like, you can serve this soup over a bed of quick-cooked couscous or your favorite grain. Add a big salad like balela salad or this Mediterranean three bean salad to start.

How to store leftovers?

If you have any fish soup left, allow it to cool completely then store it in the fridge in a tight-lid glass container for 2 to 3 days (this will depend on how fresh the fish was to begin with). To warm leftovers through, I like to remove the fish to cook the broth over medium heat, then add the fish in very briefly to warm through (it's hard to avoid overcooking the fish at this point, but the less time it spends cooking, the better)

You may also like

Baked white fish, Mediterranean-style

Shrimp Pasta

Greek Shrimp with Tomato and Feta

Easy Seafood Paella

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Hungry for more? Browse more Mediterranean recipes or our top Mediterranean diet recipes.

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4.90 from 236 votes

Mediterranean-Style Fish Soup Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
Mediterranean fish soup
Quick and easy fish soup with warm Eastern Mediterranean spices, loads of fresh herbs, and a big splash of lemon juice. The perfect one-pot meal for any night of the week. Be sure to read through for important tips!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 25 minutes
Serves – 5 people (up to)


  • 1 ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ pounds moderately firm fish fillet, I used a combination of sea bass and red snapper, cut into chunks (1 ½ -inch pieces)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock, preferably low-sodium
  • 1 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions chopped (both white and green parts)
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • In a small bowl, mix the spices together.
  • Season the fish with a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper and 2 to 3 teaspoons of the spice mixture; toss to coat.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook, tossing regularly, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add the remainder of the spice mixture.
  • Add the tomatoes, white wine, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part-way and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the fish and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (do not over-cook the fish, remember it will continue to cook in the hot broth even after you remove it from the heat).
  • Stir in the parsley, cilantro, green onions. Finish with lemon juice. Serve immediate


  • Which kind of fish fillet to use? A moderately firm fish fillet is good to use here. As mentioned in the recipe, I used a combination of sea bass and red snapper. Halibut and cod are also great options. 
  • Leftovers. Fish soup can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, depending on the freshness of the fish when you cooked it. To warm through, I like to remove the fish to first warm the broth well, then add in the fish very briefly so it doesn't spend too much time cooking. 
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices used in this recipe. 


Calories: 207.2kcalCarbohydrates: 16.6gProtein: 28gFat: 2.1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 58.5mgPotassium: 1285.7mgFiber: 4.2gVitamin A: 2389.1IUVitamin C: 92.2mgCalcium: 133.1mgIron: 4.3mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Michael says:

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe except for the green onions (I forgot them) with terrific results. I served it with home bread and a glass of red wine.

  2. Foster Rosie says:

    How many people does this serve? I need it for 12 for a main dish.
    This recipe is the bees knees. Thanks

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Foster. This recipe serves around 5 people.

  3. Linda says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! My husband was skeptical about eating "fish soup" but went back for seconds. I usually tweak recipes but this was perfect exactly as written.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! We love to hear that, Linda! Thank you!

  4. Desiree says:

    This was amazing. Perfectly spiced, light and healthy. Delicious. Even my husband enjoyed it. Definitely will be a staple in my home.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Wonderful! Thanks so much, Desiree!

  5. James Donald Kite says:

    Love your recipes

  6. Nancy says:

    5 stars
    This soup has so much flavor! Fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing.

  7. Louis Morucci says:

    5 stars
    Had it tonight, with cod, shrimp and clams. It was wonderful and can't wait for the leftovers tomorrow. I will do as you advised and heat up the tomato soup and insert any fish I use after the soup is hot! Thanks, excellent meal!

  8. Carole says:

    This was delicious! Really enjoyed it. Served it with some lemon rice for a perfect spicy fish meal. Maybe from the Moroccan part of the Mediterranean? And I really enjoyed making it and it was so easy to do. Will be making it again. Thank you!

  9. Lindsey says:

    5 stars
    This was very good and had a nice flavor. I generally don't care for seafood/fish so I used a fish I usually like, cod. It was a hit with my children and husband. I'm making it again today :-).

    1. TMD Team says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Lindsey!

  10. Josephine says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful! I happened to have some broth from steaming crawfish when I made this. Otherwise I followed it exactly. It’s amazing with sourdough bread for dipping. Too! Thank you!

  11. Dale Guthrie says:

    5 stars
    Fish soup was never on our menu. My wife said “no”. But after tasting it we both agree this is a keeper.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Love this, Dale! Thank you!!