Big bridge: Susannah’s landmark

20151018in good taste logoWe all know about Chicken Noodle Soup but have you ever had Fish Noodle Soup? Some of the basic principles of making Chicken Noodle Soup are applied here, just that you are using fish instead of chicken.

The fish

With this soup you want to use small whole fish (not small as the baby bangamary). Small red snapper, tilapia for similar fish would work. Large steak-cut pieces of fish such as packoo, snook or grey snapper can work as well – bone in or de-boned, but they must be cut into large pieces.

The pasta

Choose small-shaped pastas such as shells, elbows, orzo or ditali, which I used in my fish soup.

The stock

Fish Noodle Soup Photo by Cynthia Nelson
Fish Noodle Soup
Photo by Cynthia Nelson

This is a quick-cooking soup so do make it with stock; use vegetable or fish stock. There is added flavour to the soup also when you pan-sear the seasoned fish first, removing it and then sauté the vegetables, picking up the fond (brown bits stuck on the bottom of pan/pot).


2 pounds of fish, cleaned and cut into large pieces

2 tablespoons dried all-purpose seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste (see notes below)

3 – 4 tablespoons oil, plus extra

¾ cup finely minced onions

1 cup finely diced carrots

Minced hot pepper to taste (see notes below)

3 stalks celery finely minced

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 ½ liters stock (10 cups)

1 cup dried pasta

2 whole scallions/green onions, sliced thinly (white/purple and green parts)


Season fish with all-purpose seasoning and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.

Working in batches, sear the fish letting it firm up and get light brown or golden. Do not overcook the fish; the aim here is simply to give it a bit of colour and get it firm. The fish will finish cooking later in the soup. Set aside the fish.

Add more oil to the pan to come up to 3 – 4 tablespoons and heat.

Add onions, carrots, pepper, celery, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, toss to mix; use your pot spoon to gently scrape the bottom of the pot to release the stuck on bits. Reduce the heat to low and cook until fragrant and the veggies have softened.

Add stock, raise heat to high, bring to a boil then add pasta. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to simmer until pasta is cooked to your preference. Raise heat to high, taste, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on high for 5 minutes.

Add fish (and any drippings) and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in scallions and serve hot.


If the all-purpose seasoning you are using already has in salt, do not add more to season the fish.

Instead of mincing the pepper, you can use wiri-wiri instead; gently crack the peppers by pressing down on it with a knife then adding it whole to the pot.

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