Fiskesuppe – Creamy Norwegian Fish Soup
Fish soup is a Norwegian favorite, and there are so many different versions here. Some are quite complex with lots of ingredients (maybe I’ll share one of those in the future), but this fish soup is simple and easy to whip up on a random Tuesday night. And of course living in Bergen, Norway fish soup is a weekly staple for me.
For a traditional Norwegian fiskesuppe I turned to Norway’s holy grail cookbook: Den Rutetete Kokeboken. This fiskesuppe recipe is based off her “simple Scandinavian fish soup with vegetables” recipe, though I made a few tweaks to make it a bit creamier. And yes, this recipe is easy, but it’s still so delicious.
I take a lot of road trips around Norway for work, and this fish soup is one of my favorite meals to make while I’m traveling, if I’m staying somewhere with a kitchen. It’s easy to pull together and doesn’t require too many ingredients. It’s such a cosy meal both in the winter and summer, and I like that you can load it with lots of different vegetables.
If I’m not making my own fish stock I simply use fish stock cubes. If your local grocery store doesn’t have them, you can buy fish stock cubes on Amazon here. Shrimp bouillon cubes also work great for this.
If you want a thicker soup, add a bit more flour. You can also use cornstarch instead of flour. Mix it in with the milk instead of butter and pour it into the soup.
You can use whatever vegetables you like, or happen to have in the fridge. I always include potatoes, carrots, and leek, and then if I have any other vegetables in the fridge I might throw them in as well. Frozen vegetables also work well in this, and you don’t have to defrost them first.
You can chop the vegetables into cubes if you prefer, but the typical Norwegian way is to cut them into thin strips. This is really one of the main distinct features of Norwegian fish soup, so it would be a bit strange for me to eat fiskesuppe with cubed vegetables. Plus this means they cook more quickly!
You can make this with any type of fish fillet, except herring. I usually use cod or salmon – or both! Having a couple different types of fish in the fiskesuppe adds more depth to the flavor here.
You can make this with frozen fish, but try to take the time to defrost the fish at least a bit so that it’s easier to cut (frozen cod is like a block of ice).
You can use sour cream instead of crème fraîche. You can also skip the crème fraîche altogether, though personally I think it adds a really nice flavor to the soup so I try to always include it.
The same goes for the shrimp – they’re totally optional, but I definitely think they enhance the fiskesuppe. If you order fiskesuppe in Norway it will almost always come with shrimp.
You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.
Fiskesuppe (Creamy Norwegian Fish Soup)
- 1 pound fish fillet (fresh or frozen) – eg. half salmon, half cod
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 medium potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 leek
- 3 tbsp butter
- 5 tbsp flour
- 4 and 1/4 cups fish stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 and 1/4 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
- 1 cup shrimp, peeled and cooked (optional)
- 1 tbsp chives (or dill or parsley)
- Cut the fish fillets in cubes or strips. Crush or chop the garlic. Rinse the vegetables and cut into thin strips.
- Heat the butter in a pot and add the garlic. Once the garlic starts to turn golden add the flour, whisking well.
- Add the fish stock and continue to whisk until there are no lumps.
- Add the vegetables and milk and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the crème fraîche (or sour cream). Bring the soup back to a simmer and once the soup begins to bubble again turn off the heat. Keep the soup on the burner and add the fish. Let the fish cook in the hot soup for 5 minutes. If using shrimp, add right before serving.
- Sprinkle with chives (or dill or parsley) before serving.