This quick and easy Italian Fish Soup is comforting year-round and ready within 30 minutes. Healthy fish soup with common, easy to find ingredients such as canned tomato, onion, and bell pepper. It’s rich and cozy, and something the whole family will love.
If the view outside is any indication, I’d say it’s soup weather. With colder weather, you’ll want cozy, comfort foods. Wholesome, heart-warming recipes like this Italian Cod Fish Soup have lately been a favorite of mine.
It’s cooked in one pot and loaded with clean-eating ingredients, rich flavor, and lean protein from fish. You can modify how you like by including other seafood such as shrimp, and extra vegetables.
Fish soup makes an easy dinner
Making fish soup is as simple as assembling ingredients and cooking in one pot, all in less than 30 minutes from start to finish, with only about 20 minutes of cooking. Whitefish, such as cod, will cook quick right inside the broth, so no pre-cooking is needed. Less work and less clean up will allow more time for relaxing this winter.
Another bonus is it’s mostly made with vegetables and fish, so it’s wholesome and gluten-free. This healthy Italian soup with fish has plenty of flavors, but still perfect for fitting into your healthy lifestyle.
Ingredients for Fish Soup
Alaska cod fillet, also known as Pacific cod, is a popular whitefish variety. The moist, yet firm texture makes it a versatile fish. The distinctive flake and slightly sweet flavor adapts well to almost any cooking method. It even holds up well once cooked into this fish soup.
Other Ingredients You’ll Need
- Onion and garlic: A combo the adds and enhances flavors of almost any savory meal
- Celery and green bell pepper: balances out the soup with nutrients and a bit of crunch
- Dry white wine: used to deglaze the pot and bring out more flavors
- Lemon juice: compliments seafood with a vibrant tanginess
- Dried Italian seasoning: a simple way to add lots of flavor to soups and stews
- Canned diced tomatoes: use the tomato and liquid from the can for flavor and a lovely red color
- Stock: creates the broth for fish soup. Fish stock will add richer flavor, but chicken stock or beef broth can be used as well
- Tomato paste: helps thicken the broth a bit, plus adds loads of tomato flavor
- Fresh basil: garnish with lovely Italian flavors
How to Make Fish Soup
1. Everything is cooked in one pot in this simple recipe. Start off by sauteing onions until tender, then add celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.2. Add white wine, lemon juice, and Italian seasonings. Heat until cooked down a bit, then stir in canned diced tomatoes.
3. Stir in chicken or fish stock and tomato paste. Simmer about 10 minutes more until heated through
4. Add fish pieces and simmer about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked. Remove from heat, stir in chopped fresh basil, and serve.
Tips for Making this Fish Soup Recipe
- Add the fish in at the end so it doesn’t overcook and break up too much. No need to bring to boil, just be sure the fish is cooked through.
- You can use other meaty white fish such as haddock or monkfish. If you are unable to find these fish sole or tilapia can be used, but won’t be as meaty.
- Try adding some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick as well as extra salt and pepper to taste when serving.
- If you’re making this in advance don’t add the fish until you reheat it and are ready to serve. This fish soup recipe always works great for leftovers and double-batches, which is covered later in the post.
What fish to use
Cod is an ideal choice for fish soup because of its firm texture that holds up well…as you can see with the delectable chunks of fish in the photos. However, it’s still moist and flaky and has a nice mild flavor that absorbs the flavors of the broth.
Note: You could also use another white fish such as sole or tilapia, but it won’t be as meaty and will likely fall apart in the soup. If you want to add extra seafood such as shrimp and clams, another favorite seafood soup of mine is Cioppino.
Do you need to pre-cook fish before adding to soup?
Fish is a lean meat that cooks very quickly. You can add it straight to the warm soup at the end just before serving. An added bonus is that it soaks up the flavors while cooking. Allow about 5 minutes for it to cook through and become tender.
Is this the same as fish stew?
The broth in this Italian fish stew is rich and thick, so technically it could be considered an Italian seafood stew. Cod stew would typically have less liquid and this can be achieved by reducing the amount of broth or adding extra diced tomatoes or even tomato sauce.
How to store and serve leftovers
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
To serve: Reheat covered in a microwave-safe bowl until warm, about 2-3 minutes depending on microwave wattage. Alternately, you can reheat in a pan over medium-low heat until warm.
Pro tip: Make a double batch for extra leftover soup dinners. Follow all directions with double broth ingredients, but do not add fish to the soup. Freeze half of the soup broth. When reheating leftovers in a pot, simply add raw fish to cook in the broth mixture.
The other half can be enjoyed right away by adding fish to the soup and cooking as directed.
Italian Fish Soup recipe at-a-glance:
Flavor profiles: Rich, buttery tomato broth with mild white fish
Texture: Tender fish and veggies in a thick broth.
More hearty soup and chili recipes to keep you warm
- How to Make French Onion Soup
- Pressure Cooker Chile Verde Pork
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Pho Soup Recipe with Chicken
- Tomato Beef Stew
- Sweet Potato Chili
Leave a comment below and star rating if you made this recipe or want to share your thoughts.
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Easy Italian Fish Soup
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, cubed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 small lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 2 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 16 ounces wild Alaska Cod, or whitefish
- 3 tablespoons Chopped fresh basil
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 6-8 minutes until fragrant, stirring often.
- Stir in garlic, celery and bell pepper. Reduce to medium heat and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add wine, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid is dissolved.
- Stir in the tomato chunks with liquid, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Cook 10 minutes more uncovered, or until bell peppers are just tender.
- Cut cod into small, bite-size pieces and stir into soup. Bring to a low boil and simmer 5 minutes, or until fish is tender and flaky.
- Remove from heat, stir in basil, and serve.
- Add the fish in at the end so it doesn't overcook and break up too much.
- You could also use other meaty white fish such as haddock or monkfish. If you are unable to find these fish sole or tilapia can be used, but won't be as meaty and will likely break apart in the soup.
- Add more or less salt depending on desired amount of sodium.
- Try adding some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
- If you're making this in advance don't add the fish until you reheat it and are ready to serve.
Very good eating!
I wanted to make a cioppino-type soup, but without shellfish due to Hubby’s allergy, so I bought Trader Joe’s frozen cod pieces and began an online search. I read several recipes and settled on Matt’s healthy recipe. I omitted the tomato paste, because I didn’t have it, and used a red bell pepper instead of green because that was what I had. I defrosted the cod and cut the larger pieces to match the size of the rest; they cooked very quickly. It turned out fabulous! I ladled some of the soup into bowls, but divided all the fish between the two of us. The next day, I added ingredients to the leftover soup base to turn it into minestrone. I will definitely make this again. Thank you, Matt, for a great, versatile recipe.
Arlene Martin says
Love this and make it all the time. Love it with the cod. Today I added carrots, chunks of gold potatoes and yes, nopales, instead of the green beans I usually use. We like it spicy so I also put in a fair amount of red pepper flakes and black pepper No salt because of the fish and nopales. Served the soup with homemade cheddar cheese biscuits. My husband rated all as outstanding.
I made this soup tonight according to the recipe and it was too acidic for my taste. I will probably leave out the lemon juice.
Hi Clarissa. Thanks for the input. I’ve made it a few times and didn’t get that impression, but that’s a good tip depending on flavor preference.
This was so easy to make! I made it to take for lunch the next day while I made dinner and it turned out very tasty I added carrots and green beans to it as well to make it a little heartier being that I work a 12hr shift and it was still light and delicious!! Will definitely make it again.
R. Godwin says
Just made this with my homemade chicken bone broth and it is hearty, satisfying and delicious- almost thick enough to be served over pasta if desired and covered with grated Parmesan or Romano! Just wonderful and I am keeping this recipe as a base for Italian soups. Could be done with chicken or shrimp or clams! Love it! Thank you.
The homemade broth is a great idea, and I bet this soup would go well with other meats. I’m so glad you loved the recipe and appreciate the wonderful feedback! Thanks!
Just tried this soup with garden fresh tomatoes added chopped asparagus. The whole family loved it. A nice hunk of Italian bread perfect meal.
Thanks so much for the feedback Denise and glad your family loved it! I’m a fan of asparagus so will try that next time.
Wow! This one caught my eye, Matthew. Many of my favorite things, including the Pacific cod, a totally overlooked fish and so tasty and good in a dish like this. Gorgeous colors and light in the pics. Way to go!
Indeed this is perfect for cooler weather. Sounds lovely with the Italian seasoning, and it’s gorgeous, too!
Thanks so much Valentina! It totally is.
Vicci @ It's Cheat Day Everyday says
LOVE the fact that this is a one pot dish. Makes comfort food cooking *that* much better. Looks delicious!
Thanks Vicci! One pot is totally the way to go. As if comfort food needed to get any better 😉
Ilona @ Ilona's Passion says
Cod is my favorite fish and I buy it often. The dish looks so delicious and it’s definitely tasty.
I haven’t really cooked with it till now but love it! Thanks Ilona.
Cricket Plunkett says
This looks so comforting! I’m all about seafood in my soups!
I agree, thanks Cricket!