Estonian Fish Soup Recipe - Traditional Snapper Soup from Estonia

Estonian Fish Soup

Estonian Fish Soup Recipe - Traditional Snapper Soup from Estonia
Region / culture: Estonia | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Estonian Fish Soup
Estonian Fish Soup

Estonian Fish Soup is a traditional dish that is popular in Estonia, a country known for its rich culinary heritage. This hearty and flavorful soup is made with a variety of fish, vegetables, and spices, creating a delicious and satisfying meal.


Fish soup has been a staple in Estonian cuisine for centuries, with recipes being passed down through generations. The use of fresh fish, vegetables, and herbs reflects the country's reliance on locally sourced ingredients and its close connection to the sea.


How to prepare

  1. 1. Clean and wash the fish.
  2. 2. Boil the remaining bones and heads in water with spices for about 2 minutes, then drain through a sieve.
  3. 3. Melt margarine and fry finely chopped onions and mushrooms until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Add flour, tomato paste, fish bouillon, and fish (cut into small pieces). Boil for about 10 minutes.
  5. 5. Add finely chopped pickle, capers, dill, and lemon (seeds removed).
  6. Serving:
  7. Finally, add sour cream to each serving and serve hot.


  • Add carrots, celery, or potatoes for additional vegetables.
  • Use different types of fish or seafood for a unique twist on the recipe.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor of the soup.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Use a variety of fish to add depth of flavor to the soup.

- Be sure to clean and wash the fish thoroughly before cooking.

- Frying the onions and mushrooms until golden brown will enhance the overall flavor of the soup.

- Adding sour cream at the end of cooking will give the soup a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Estonian Fish Soup hot with a side of crusty bread or crackers. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley for added flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Boil the fish bones and heads to create a flavorful broth.

- Fry the onions and mushrooms until golden brown to enhance the overall flavor of the soup.

- Add sour cream at the end of cooking to give the soup a creamy texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use vegetable broth instead of water for a vegetarian version of the soup.

- Substitute tofu or tempeh for the fish for a plant-based alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

Estonian Fish Soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Estonian Fish Soup in individual bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill. Pair with a side salad or bread for a complete meal.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Estonian Fish Soup with a crisp white wine or a light lager beer. Serve with a side of pickled vegetables or a cucumber salad for a refreshing contrast.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Estonian Fish Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of water if needed to thin out the soup.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories: 250 per serving


Carbohydrates: 12g per serving


Total Fat: 15g per serving

Saturated Fat: 7g per serving


Protein: 20g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A: 10% of daily value per serving

- Vitamin C: 15% of daily value per serving

- Iron: 8% of daily value per serving


Contains: Fish, Dairy


Estonian Fish Soup is a nutritious dish that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a satisfying meal that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.


Estonian Fish Soup is a delicious and nutritious dish that is perfect for a cozy meal on a cold day. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, this soup is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was drawn to it like a magnet. It was a cold winter day, and I was visiting my dear friend Olga, who had recently returned from a trip to Estonia. As we sat by the fireplace sipping tea, she pulled out a worn and weathered recipe book from her travels and began flipping through the pages.

"Ah, here it is," she exclaimed, pointing to a page with a faded picture of a steaming bowl of fish soup. "This is the most delicious Estonian Fish Soup I have ever tasted. Would you like to give it a try?"

I eagerly agreed, and Olga began to recount the story of how she came to learn the recipe. It was during a visit to a small fishing village on the coast of Estonia, where she had been invited into a local family's home for dinner. The matriarch of the family, an elderly woman named Svetlana, had graciously shared her recipe for the traditional fish soup that had been passed down through generations.

As Olga recounted Svetlana's words, I could almost taste the rich flavors of the soup in my mind. The key, Svetlana had said, was to use the freshest fish available and to simmer it slowly with a blend of fragrant herbs and spices. The soup was hearty and warming, perfect for a cold winter's day.

After hearing Olga's story, I knew that I had to try my hand at making Estonian Fish Soup. I asked Olga if she would share the recipe with me, and she gladly agreed. As she read out the ingredients and instructions, I furiously scribbled notes in my own recipe book, eager to recreate the dish in my own kitchen.

The next day, I set out to gather the ingredients for the soup. I visited the local fish market, where I carefully selected the freshest white fish I could find. I also picked up a variety of herbs and spices, including dill, parsley, and bay leaves, as well as some fresh vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Back in my kitchen, I set to work preparing the soup. I chopped the vegetables and sautéed them in a large pot before adding the fish, herbs, and spices. As the soup simmered on the stove, the aroma of garlic and dill filled the air, making my stomach rumble in anticipation.

After a few hours of simmering, the soup was ready. I ladled out a steaming bowlful and took a tentative sip. The flavors exploded on my tongue, each mouthful a tantalizing blend of savory fish, earthy vegetables, and fragrant herbs. It was everything Olga had promised and more.

Over the years, I have made Estonian Fish Soup countless times, each batch just as delicious as the last. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, who have all raved about its wonderful taste and comforting warmth. It has become a staple in my kitchen, a dish that never fails to bring joy and comfort to those who taste it.

As I sit by the fireplace on another cold winter day, I can't help but think back to that moment when I first saw the recipe for Estonian Fish Soup. It was a turning point in my culinary journey, a dish that sparked a passion for cooking and a love for sharing delicious food with others.

And so, I will continue to make Estonian Fish Soup for as long as I am able, honoring the tradition and memory of Svetlana and her family. Each spoonful is a tribute to their generosity and kindness, a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.


| Caper Recipes | Estonian Recipes | Estonian Soups | Mushroom Recipes | Snapper Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(7) Gutap
(6) Beldeme
(6) Rolmops