Psarosoupa (Greek Fish Soup)

A traditional Greek dish, celebrating the bounty of the sea. Different kinds of fish and shellfish can be used for this. It can be as fancy as you desire. Clams, mussels, and crab claws are messy to handle if left in the shells, but they make an elegant presentation.

My father often made fish soup without the shellfish. I didn’t appreciate it when I was young, but now I think it’s wonderful!

Susan Tweeton


  • 2 pounds various firm-fleshed fish: halibut, perch, cod, etc. 
  • ½ pound various shellfish: mussels, clams, crab claws, scallops, shrimp, squid rings, etc.  
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1–2 onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped  
  • 1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1–2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or any combination thereof
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Clean the fish/shellfish and wash thoroughly; pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut fish into large pieces and set aside fish/shellfish in refrigerator.
  3. In a deep soup pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and carrot.
  4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, 4 cups liquid, and wine, if using.
  5. Bring to simmer and cook for 30–45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  6. Add desired fish; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add desired shellfish; cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until both fish and shellfish are completely done.
  8. Add more water or broth if necessary.
  9. If needed, remove fish to pick out bones and skin; return fish to soup.
  10. Adjust seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with fresh lemon wedges and thick slices of French bread.