Caribbean Fish Soup


Homemade fish broth makes this healthy soup very tasty. I always loved this dish while growing up in the Caribbean. To my surprise, it turned out to be a good warm-up drink, too. Long story short, as I waited for a bus on a freezing and windy winter evening in NYC, I noticed a West Indian restaurant across the street. I ran in to get a cup of coffee or tea — the last thing on my mind was a bowl of soup. They were about to close, and they only had fish soup. I took a small cup and went back to the bus stop. It warmed me up and reached such a good place inside me that I ran back for more.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins


  • 2 pounds whole fish, scaled and cleaned, or more to taste

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 8 cups water

  • 4 green bananas, chopped

  • 1 pound pumpkin, cut into 1-inch pieces, or more to taste

  • 2 potatoes, chopped

  • 2 ears corn, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 4 ounces carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • ½ cup chopped okra

  • 4 scallions, chopped

  • 1 hot chile pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped


  1. Rinse fish with lemon juice; drain.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add fish; reduce to a simmer and cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove fish to a plate, reserving broth in the pot. Let fish cool; remove bones, keeping large pieces of flesh intact.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. Add green bananas, pumpkin, potatoes, corn, carrots, okra, scallions, chile pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper, and thyme. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in fish pieces and simmer until flavors combine, about 5 minutes more.

  4. Remove soup from heat and let stand before serving, about 30 minutes. Discard chile pepper.


You can slit the chile pepper before adding if you prefer more heat.

When reheating leftovers, do not boil; it will break down the fish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

203 Calories
3g Fat
35g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 203
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 338mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 41mg 207%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 707mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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