PORTUGAL: Sopa de Peixe (Fish Soup)



Ready In:


Good For:

Side dish


About this Recipe

By: Rita

Fish soup is a common dish in Portugal, especially in colder months. This particular recipe uses several types of fish, diced into fillets, giving it a complex flavor. Elbow macaroni is added for heartiness and extra texture.

Thanks to Rita, a member of the International Women’s Association of Pittsburgh (IWAP) for this recipe. Rita came to Pittsburgh from Portugal in 2019. She says, “Moving to America, in particular Pittsburgh, has been a fantastic experience. I have met wonderful people that made me feel at home.”


portugal on a map
  • Use different kinds of fish (e.g., shrimps; salmon; swordfish 28 oz) dice the fish fillets
  • 2 or 3 fish bones + 3 shrimps 
  • Olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 non-minced garlic
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 14 oz de diced peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp of tabasco sauce 
  • 7 oz of elbows
  • Salt 
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
Thank you to the International Women’s Association of Pittsburgh (IWAP) members for submitting recipes. IWAP is a group, a family, a community, coming together from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Their mission is to offer friendship, support and assistance to international women, who find Pittsburgh as their new home. They have cooking classes, English classes, book club, field trips, volunteer opportunities, and more.
elbow macaroni
fish stew in pot


To prepare the stock
1. Rinse fish bones thoroughly with cold water.
2. Place bones in a large pot; with 2 spoons of salt, the non-minced garlic, 3 bay leaf, let it boil for a while and 10 cups cold water.
3. Bring almost to a boil over high heat (do not let it come to a boil).
4. Reduce heat to low and cook at a bare simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until flavors meld, 20–30 minutes.
5. Turn the heat off and strain the stock; discard solids. Let cool, then chill, uncovered, until cold.
6. Transfer to an airtight container and cover (you may freeze it to use it later).
To prepare the soup
1. Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil, add the chopped onion, the bay leaf, the minced garlic cloves, and the diced red pepper.
2. Stir and let sauté.
3. When the red pepper becomes soft, add the peeled tomatoes.
4. Stir and let sauté, then add the stock. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
5. Remove the bay leaf and then purée in a blender or food processor. Taste the broth and season to your liking.
6. Add the diced fish fillets and let it boil for 10-15 min.
7. Sometimes we add a handful of elbows.
8. The soup should have a light watery consistency, add water if necessary.
9. Add the chopped cilantro (because not all the people like it, we will serve it later).
10. Let it boil and turn the heat off.