A Deliciously Tasty Icelandic Fish Soup Recipe

Soup is a classic comfort food around the world, and Iceland is no exception. For those of you who love seafood, Icelandic fish soup is sure to hit the spot and warm you up in the process. Easy to make while tasting impressive, this recipe is perfect to serve to family and friends. So how do you make Icelandic fish soup, and what ingredients make this soup taste so divine? Read on to learn how to replicate this soup in your own kitchen and get to taste the wonderful flavors for yourself.

What is Icelandic Fish Soup?

Icelandic fish soup, also known as Fiskisupa is a soup that uses flaky halibut, leeks, and potatoes to make for a comforting meal. This dish is often found in Icelandic homes. While this recipe is just one example of this soup, many Icelandic families have their own variations on this Icelandic classic, so there is some opportunity to explore different flavors and make tweaks to this recipe based on what your family needs. You can pretty much find this soup everywhere in Iceland from markets to family homes.

Why is Icelandic Fish Soup So Good?

What makes this soup so good is that it is made to combat cold, dreary days with a little comfort food. This type of weather is characteristic of Iceland, but the Icelandic people have learned to embrace their moody weather and find joy in dishes like this soup. This soup is perfect for cold winter days or days when the rain just doesn’t seem to stop, but I like it just as much when the sun is shining! Add a little Icelandic charm to your mealtimes with this fantastic soup. Even people who aren’t huge fans of fish can enjoy this soup, and I’ve impressed many friends who were reluctant to eat fish with this dish!

Icelandic Fish Soup Recipe

This tasty soup will make about 8 servings, but you can easily double or halve this recipe to meet your needs. I love to make a huge batch and freeze some for when I want to pull out a quick meal from the freezer. The flakiness of the fish in this soup is to die for, and the whipping cream adds a creaminess that you just can’t beat!


  • 4 cups chick stock
  • 2 lbs halibut
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tablespoons chives chopped, for garnish
  • Celery leaves, for garnish


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted add the onion. Cook the onion until it is transparent for about 5 minutes. Add the leeks and celery and cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, tomato paste, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture is fragrant.
  3. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Cook for around 25 minutes. The potatoes should be soft.
  4. As the potatoes cook, use a beater to mix ½ cup of your heavy whipping cream, and beat it until you get soft peaks. Set the whipped heavy cream aside.
  5. Add your halibut and cook for around 4 – 7 minutes. Cooking times will depend on the size and thickness of your fish. Be careful not to overcook your fish because you want it nice and tender. You’ll know the halibut is done because it will flake with a fork.
  6. Remove from heat and add the 1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream, slowly stirring it in.
  7. Serve the soup with dollops of whipped cream you set aside and garnish with celery leaves and chopped chives.

Storing Icelandic Fish Soup

Icelandic fish soup is easy to store. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container. This soup is great for leftovers, and all you’ll have to do is heat it up. You may also want to add a little extra broth because it can thicken in the fridge. It should be good to stay in the fridge for up to a week.

If you plan on storing your soup for longer, choose the freezer. This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Although it will be safe to eat for up to six months, I find there is a reduction in quality after about 3 months, so definitely plan to eat this sooner rather than later.

Substitution Options for Icelandic Fish Soup

The great thing about this soup is that it is meant to use substitutions. The recipe included is a great starting point for many culinary adventures. In Iceland, you see families make substitutions all the time, and the recipes each family uses are unique, often passed down through the generations.

One major swap is the fish. You can’t make fish soup without fish, but the type of fish you use can be different. For hundreds of years, Icelandic people have been making this soup, and they’ve had to adapt the type of fish they’ve used based on availability. You don’t have to use halibut, but you will want to use a fish that is tender and flakey because, without that type of fish, you won’t get the delicious melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Cod or bass are other good choices. But you can also use shellfish like scallops, lobster, or shrimp!

You can also swap out the produce used to fit what you have on hand. I’ve swapped potatoes for parsnips in the past for a lighter, sharper flavor. Root veggies are commonly available in Iceland, so they’re often what you’ll see in this dish, but the nature of this soup is using what you have to create a satisfying meal.

Does Icelandic Fish Soup Have a Lot of Nutrients?

Like many soups, Icelandic fish soups have a lot of positive health attributes. Although there are concerns about the amount of mercury in fish, halibut is considered safe as a moderate part of your diet, and the health benefits outweigh the limited risks. Healthline points out that halibut is packed with micronutrients like selenium, omega-3, niacin, and B12. It’s also rich in protein, helping you keep healthy muscles and connective tissues. WebMD also suggests that halibut can improve inflammation, help your nervous system, and contribute to a healthy heart. Thus, having a little halibut in your diet can go a long way in helping your body and mind.

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