Recipe: Swedish Curried Fish Soup

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Yuki Sugiura)

Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: Sweden.

For our moment in Sweden, Steffi Knowles-Dellner offers up a soup from her grandmother that shows off how rich with spices Swedish cooking can be.

This curried fish soup is based on a recipe by my mormor (or maternal grandmother) and it’s a family favorite. Swedes have a surprising affinity for spice. We use lots of saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom in our baking — perhaps we sourced them on far-flung Viking raids? — and even curry powder crops up now and then as a subtle seasoning. Here, it adds an earthy depth and warmth without going overboard, and it’s the perfect soothing soup for a Swedish winter’s day.

Curried Fish Soup

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 teaspoon


  • 2

    onions, thinly sliced

  • 1

    leek, sliced

  • 2

    garlic cloves, very finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons

    medium curry powder, divided

  • 4 1/2 cups

    fish or vegetable stock or broth

  • 10 1/2 ounces

    thick cod fillets, cut into chunks

  • 10 1/2 ounces

    salmon, cut into pieces

  • 5 1/4 ounces

    cooked frozen Atlantic prawns or shrimp, defrosted

  • 1 cup

    light cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    cold-pressed rapeseed oil or olive oil

  • 1

    small bunch of dill, roughly chopped, to serve

  • 1

    small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped, to serve

  • Chunky bread, to serve


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes, without colouring. Add the leek and cook for another few minutes until softened, then add the garlic. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the curry powder and fry for another minute or so, until fragrant. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat – it should be just quivering. Add the cod and salmon and poach for 5 to 8 minutes, then tip in the prawns and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

  2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder. Fry for 1 minute or so until smoky and aromatic, then remove from the heat and tip into a bowl to cool slightly. Divide the soup between 4 bowls, drizzle over a little curry oil and sprinkle with the herbs before serving with chunky bread.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously by Steffi Knowles-Dellner with permission by Quadrille Publishing.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Quadrille Publishing)

Find the Book:

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously by Steffi Knowles-Dellner