Fisherman’s Soup – Hungarian Recipes

Producing a good fisherman’s soup is a bit like carrying out a ritual.  You buy the fresh fish, you give the soup base its proper time… you enjoy the experience.  The Hungarian Christmas table has always held a place of honour for dishes made with fish, including fisherman’s soup.  Did you know that the scales of the fish symbolise the money to come in the New Year, and that people once wished their families that they might make their way through the coming year as a fish makes its way through water?



  • 1 ½ kg fish bones
  • 800 g onions
  • 100 g sweet banana peppers
  • 100 g tomatoes
  • 1 hot pepper (optional)
  • 100 g sweet paprika
  • 600 g carp
  • salt

Place the fish bones, diced onion, paprika, and tomatoes in a soup pot, add enough water to cover, season with salt, and put on to simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours.  Remove from heat and wait for the fat to rise to the surface, then sprinkle with paprika and cook for another 20 minutes.  Cut the carp into cubes.  Pass the broth through a strainer to remove bones, return to heat, add the carp, and cook until done.

Optionally, fisherman’s soup can be enriched with fish roe or milt or even matchstick noodles.


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