Fiskesuppe – Creamy Norwegian Fish Soup

Silvia

Since I was a little kid fiskesuppe (fish soup) has been one of my favorite Norwegian dishes. So of course when I moved to Norway as an adult fiskesuppe was already a staple in my repertoire.

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, I eat fish soup at least once a week.

Northern Norwegians make their fish soup a bit differently than Norwegians here in Bergen. And since I’ve lived both in Northern Norway and now in Bergen, I’ve incorporated elements of both into my own fish soup recipe. I especially love to add crème fraîche or sour cream (whichever I have on hand) to my fiskesuppe as it makes the fish soup so creamy and delicious.

Norwegian fiskesuppe

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.

Tips

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. Whisk the flour into the melted butter as soon as the garlic starts to turn golden, as you don’t want the garlic to burn. I always travel with a small ziplock bag of flour to use when making soups and sauces.

You can also use cornstarch instead of flour. Mix it in with the milk instead of butter and pour it into the soup.

butter and flour for fiskesuppe
cutting vegetables for fiskesuppe

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!

making norwegian fish soup

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.

I often make this soup with frozen fish, but I do 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).

making fiskesuppe

I do sometimes 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. And you can get creative with adding other seafood like crab legs, scallops, or even clams. You’ll often see a fun variety of seafood used in fish soup in Norwegian restaurants, based on the day’s catch and seasonal availability.

I usually top my soup with fresh chives, but dill and parsley also work great.

Norwegian fiskesuppe

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

Norwegian fiskesuppe

Fiskesuppe (Creamy Norwegian Fish Soup)

This is a simple and delicious creamy Norwegian fish soup. You can use any type of fish except for herring. You can also use whichever vegetables you prefer or have already, including frozen vegetables – I've included my favorites in the recipe.
4.95 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: fish, soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Silvia

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

20 Comments

  • c

    May 12, 2023 at 5:26 am

    Looks delicious! Which brand of fish stock are you using or did you make your own? I am not from/in Norway, and have never heard of fish stock, actually haha. Will chicken stock be a good substitute?
    Also, may I ask you to set-up an email subscription thingy when you post new recipes/posts? I don’t have social media and don’t want to miss an update from you! 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Silvia

      May 15, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Oh interesting, maybe fish stock isn’t as common in the US? I use a Norwegian brand, but you can use any sort of fish stock or fish bouillon cubes. Chicken stock would change the flavor of the soup, so I would really try to find fish stock cubes. I’ve just created an email subscription and added the email address attached to your comment!

    2. Meinir

      May 31, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      Knorr do fish stock cubes. 🙂

    3. Jennifer

      November 4, 2023 at 5:26 pm

      5 stars
      You can make your own fish stock by simmering garlic, carrots, onion, prawn shells/muscle shells and fish heads for a couple hours, then strain. Can store it in the freezer for two months

      1. Charles

        November 11, 2023 at 9:37 pm

        Tusen takk!!

  • Linda

    May 21, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    5 stars
    I used sour cream instead of creme fraiche and it was so good! The whole family loved it.

  • Nynke

    May 21, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Silvia! I have a very basic question – if you use frozen fish fillet, do you need to defrost it first or can you cut it while frozen if you only have basic knives?

    1. Silvia

      May 22, 2023 at 7:50 am

      Fully frozen fish will usually be incredibly difficult to cut. But if you defrost it for about half an hour or so it should be soft enough to cut! You certainly don’t need to fully defrost the fish before adding it to the soup. Though if it’s a bit frozen still I would probably keep the burner on low heat after adding the fish, to make sure it fully cooks through.

  • Marta Botos

    June 21, 2023 at 9:22 am

    5 stars
    Just visited Norway. The fiske suppe is my favorite. Loved it. Right now I am staying in Budapest and will try it here…and when I am back in Sydney will be on the menu all the time.

    1. Alexandra

      July 9, 2024 at 6:36 pm

      Hello
      I must ask, at what stage do you put the potato in? Watched that video 5 times but I can’t seem to find the potato? 😭😂
      Do you boil them first then put them in? Cut them in cubes or stripes? I have so many questions and I want to make them to my husband!

      1. Silvia

        July 9, 2024 at 7:28 pm

        I add the raw potatoes at the same time as the carrots and leek! I cut the potatoes into thin strips – you can see them to the right of the carrots in the photo of the carrots on the cutting board.

  • Maria

    July 28, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    5 stars
    I tried making fisksuppe before and something wasn’t right. Your recipe made me realize it’s the way you cut the vegetables into thin strips. This recipe tasted exactly like the soup in Norway.

  • Raya

    August 4, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    Yes, this turned out just like the fiskesuppe I had in Norway!

  • Cheryl

    September 18, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    5 stars
    Recipe looks great. I just got back from Bergen and had the fish soup at a restaurant there. It had small shrimp and scallops in it. I think they left out the “fish” part because we had so me members of our group who did not eat fish. And it was so mild, I was wondering if they used something other than a fish stock for the same reason listed above. Have you ever heard of using scallops instead of the fish?? I want to try and make this for my husband because it was soooo good!

  • Michelle

    October 14, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    5 stars
    This was the best chowder I’ve ever had. Super impressed.

  • Liz

    October 29, 2023 at 11:31 am

    5 stars
    Saved this and have already made it several times!

  • Sylvia G.

    December 28, 2023 at 10:25 am

    5 stars
    Thanks Silvia! From another Sylvia 🙂

  • Michael

    January 16, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    5 stars
    Super easy to put together. I didn’t fuss with anything (except I added salt and white pepper for seasoning) and it came out fantastic. I highly recommend dill for the greenery. Thank you for a fast, cozy, and fun recipe.

  • Mary

    February 18, 2024 at 10:07 pm

    You can find fish stock in oriental stores too.

  • Solveig Sperati Korte

    March 4, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    5 stars
    Really enjoyed this! I made stock from shrimp and clams I had on hand with some onion and celery. sour cream and shallots (again, that’s what I had on hand). Fish and shrimp. It was so good and reminded me of fiskesuppe I’ve had in Norway. Keeper for sure!

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