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Sopa de Pescado (Fish Soup) Recipe

Bowl of Fish Soup

Sopa de Pescado Recipe

Recipe courtesy Chef Orel Emile Gentle Steward, Sambo Creek, Honduras

Note: Each chef has his own “secret” ingredients for this traditional Garifuna fish soup. Travel writer Sandra Scott and her husband John told RFT that one chef they met in another Garifuna village likes to add cumin, and fry the fish and vegetables in butter before adding to the stock.




Makes 2 to 4 servings.

  • 4 cups fish stock made from scratch (Canned fish, chicken, or vegetable stock can be substituted)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • one diced sweet pepper
  • salt and other seasonings to taste
  • 1 yucca (or potato), cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 whole fish, about 9 inches in length, per serving or skinned fish meat cut in cubes. The Garifuna use red snapper, yellowtail, or king fish, but any fish will do.


  1. Make a fish stock by boiling fish heads, shrimp shells, the non-white conch meat or any leftover fish “stuff,” and garlic. Boil for 15 minutes. Strain. It is similar to making turkey stock using the bones.
  2. To the stock add onions, sweet pepper, salt, and any desired spices.  Give it a little kick with jalapeño peppers. Add yucca (or potatoes), sliced onions, and coconut milk. Cook until the yucca is tender.
  3. Fry the fish or boil it in the stock for 7 minutes.


If the fish is fried, place in a bowl and pour the liquid over it. Serve with machuca on the side with a few slices of lemon. Traditionally, when serving the soup to females the tail is cut off. Each chef has his own “secret” ingredients. We chatted with a chef in another Garifuna village and he said he likes to add cumin, and fry the fish and vegetables in butter before adding to the stock.



  • 2 yellow plantain, peeled and cubed
  • 2 green plantain, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


1. Boil the plantain with salt until soft.

2. Mash together until the plantains have the texture of mashed potatoes. Traditionally it is mashed African style with long wooden pestle in a wooden mortar. Serve on the side with the fish soup.

Read about Sandra Scott’s adventure in Honduras.


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Bobbie Hasselbring

RFT founder and the website's former editor-in-chief, Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. She's been an award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook.

22 thoughts on “Sopa de Pescado (Fish Soup) Recipe

  1. Deb

    Awesome – i’ve tried this from authentic cooks from Livingston in Guatemala too! my grandparents! they are garífuna as well! thanks for your récipe! my grandparents have passed away now but their food legacy lives on! 😀

    1. Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT EditorBobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor Post author

      Cool, Deb. If you make this Sopa de Pescado dish, please let us know how it turns out. RFT Editor Anne Weaver and I traveled to Belize and Guatemala a number of years ago and got introduced to wonderful Garifuna foods. You might want to check out our review of the cookbook, “Flavors of Belize The Cookbook” in our book review section and two recipes from that cookbook, “Garnaches Recipe” and “Shrimp in Black Bean Sauce” in our recipe section. Thanks for writing. Cheers! — Bobbie, RFT Editor

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