Today’s delicious fish soup recipe is perfect for feeding a crew of hungry children. Or fishermen. Or fishermen’s children.
Rachel was preparing a fish soup recipe recently and I asked her to share it here, as I know many of you are on the hunt for good recipes including tropical vegetables such as yams, green bananas, moringa and katuk. She graciously made a video of the process and wrote up the fish soup recipe here, from stock to ladle! -David The Good
Rachel’s Hearty Fish Soup Recipe
For Fish Stock:
A gallon sized bag full of fish heads and/or carcasses
Enough water to cover fish (approximately 2 gallons)
1. 3 tablespoons of butter
2. 3-4 onions, chipped
3. 12 cloves of garlic, crushed
4. 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced (I didn’t use this in the youtube video because I was out of carrots at the time. However, I would certainly have used them if I had them on hand. They will sweeten up the soup a bit. I used some leftover, cooked pumpkin in the video. So, if you have that, and not carrots, by all means, use it.)
5. 2 Bay leaves
6. A good handful of paprika peppers, chopped. If you don’t have these, use 3 teaspoons of powdered paprika
7. 8 oz small yam (I used Dioscorea alata, but there are many other varieties which will work just as well), peeled and chopped–or 3 (depending on size) white potatoes if you don’t have yams
8. 9 green bananas, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces—you can use green plantains if you don’t have green bananas, but then only use 3.
9. Fish stock. If you don’t have fish stock, use 2 gallons of chicken stock
10. Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups of all purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 pinches of salt
In the morning, put the fish and water in a large pot and simmer all day. I used fresh tuna but any tasty fish works.
When ready to make the soup, strain through a colander into a bowl and reserve. Compost the remaining fish bits (there’s a recipe for homemade fish emulsion in Compost Everything). This part may be done the day before. If doing that, after straining, refrigerate the stock.
When ready to make the soup, heat a large pot to medium-low. Add the butter. Add ingredients numbered 2 – 8 in their listed order, stirring after each addition. Yams are a lot like a white potato but they can grow a lot bigger and are slimy when raw (but not when cooked!)
The green bananas are easy to manage if you peel them the way I do in the video. Score and split off the skins, then chop them up.If you’re lucky enough to have a banana tree in your backyard, fantastic! Ours have been a great blessing. They’re a great staple in the tropics.
At this point, if you would like a deeper, richer flavor, keep sautéing the veggies until they are golden. If you’re in a hurry, proceed to the next part. It will still taste good, just different.
Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer until all the veggies are tender, checking for doneness with a knife every 5-10 minutes or so. (The yams should be soft like a boiled white potato when done. The green bananas will still have a little firmness to them. But if the yams are done, the bananas probably are too—don’t worry about it too much, it will be fine). I added moringa to this fish soup recipe. When cooked it isn’t zippy and you can add a lot if you like. The nutrition is excellent.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Also, at this point, add more of any seasoning you think it is lacking.
Making Easy Dumplings
While waiting for the veggies to finish cooking, make the dumplings! Put the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder and salt. Add enough water to make a dry dough. You can tell if you’ve got it right when the dough holds together when squeezed into a ball. The first time I did this I accidentally added too much water. I put in a little more flour and mixed it again with my hands. It turned out fine, so this recipe is somewhat forgiving. Make snakes with the dough like you did with clay in kindergarten (approximately 4-6 inches long).
When the vegetables are finished, add the dumplings, one at a time, to the soup. Put the lid on the pot and simmer the dumplings, testing for doneness every 5 minutes or so. You can tell they are done by cutting one in half and tasting it. If it tastes like raw dough, cook it longer.
Feel free to play around with this recipe, as I did in the video. Nothing is hard and fast. Enjoy and experiment! If you have a husband to taste test, so much the better!
If you come up with a different addition, I’d love to hear about it. This is a local fish soup recipe which I’ve just tweaked as I’ve gone along, according to whatever vegetables we have available.