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Ciorbă Pescărească de Pește (Fisher’s Fish Soup)

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Ciorbă Pescărească de Pește (Fisher’s Fish Soup)

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Fish broth:
head and tail of a salmon
head and tail of a pike
head and tail of a trout
2 medium carrots
1 onions
1 parsnips
1 piece celeriac
1 medium tomatoes
½ red bell pepper
1 small hot pepper
Fish soup:
12 small potatoes (two per person)
about 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs fish You can use other sorts of fish as well (preferably sweet water), for instance: carp, mullet, catfish and so on.
1 Trout
1 Mackerel
2 large zander fillets
2-4 pieces pike
2 medium carrots
second half red bell pepper
1 Onion
3-5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 egg
2 tablespoons smetana crème fraiche
a bunch lovage or parsley if lovage is unavailable
5-7 garlic cloves depending on size
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
fine sea salt and black pepper
  • Medium


  • Fish broth:

  • Fish soup:



This soup is cooked in a fish broth, usually made with the small fish catch of the day. Several types of vegetables (carrots, onions, peppers, root celery, tomatoes, and potatoes) are cooked in the broth. Then the large fish is added (carp, catfish, mullet, bream, pike, or sturgeon) and cooked until soft. The soup is soured with vinegar and flavored with fresh lovage.

How to Make the Fish Broth:

  1. Place the head and tails of the fish in a large pot.
  2. Add the roughly chopped vegetables. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer gently for half an hour.
  3. Strain the broth.
  4. Reserve the carrots, parsnip, and bell pepper.
  5. Chop them into smaller cubes and add them to the finished soup when it has finished cooking.
  6. Strain the broth again through a finer sieve lined with muslin.
  7. Clean the pot and pour the fish broth back into the pot.

How to Make the Fish Soup:

  1. Peel the potatoes but leave them whole. Only halve them if they are large (and use only 6 potatoes if they are larger).
  2. Add them to the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Chop the onion, carrots, and bell pepper used for the soup into small cubes and add them to the soup as soon as they are chopped.
  4. Leave to simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done.
  5. Halve larger fish, such as trout or mackerel.
  6. Add all the fish pieces to the soup together with 1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste) and the vinegar. Start with 2 tablespoons vinegar and add more to taste.
  7. It is important to add the salt and vinegar together with the fish to the pot, it will prevent the fish from falling apart.
  8. Leave to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked but still tender and not overcooked. The fish will continue cooking in the soup after you turn off the heat, so don’t worry about the fish being still uncooked.
  9. While the fish is still simmering, whisk together the egg and the sour cream.
  10. Slowly add two ladles of the hot soup to the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
  11. This will temper the mixture so that it will not curdle when you add it to the soup.
  12. Pour the egg sour cream mixture slowly into the soup while whisking. Take off the heat immediately.
  13. Add the reserved vegetables from the broth to the soup.
  14. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if necessary.
  15. Chop the lovage and add it to the soup just before serving.

How to Make the Garlic Sauce:

  1. Grate the garlic cloves into a small bowl.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and slowly whisk in the vegetable oil.
  3. Add about 125 ml/ ½ cup cold water and mix well.
  4. If the sauce is too strong for your taste, you could add a bit more water.

How to Serve it:

  1. Lift the fish and the potatoes from the soup and place them on a serving platter.
  2. Serve the soup with some garlic sauce and more vinegar, if you like, as a first course and the fish and the potatoes with more garlic sauce as a second course.
  3. Or serve everything together as a single course.

You can use other sorts of fish as well (preferably sweet water), for instance: carp, mullet, catfish and so on.

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