Fish soup with carp and paprika

Hungarian fish soup

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For Christmas, in Poland we have carp in a cream sauce whereas in Hungary they traditionally have a fish soup made from carp and with lots of paprika.

This recipe comes from my Hungarian mother-in-law and I must admit it has been my first time making this soup. I used my family as testers or guinea pigs. I was prepared for all comments, both positive and negative. To my surprise, everyone was delighted with the soup. The only comments I got was that I could have added more paprika. I will not even mention that it already had four spoons of it in it!

Fish soup is a traditional Hungarian soup and is mainly served as a Christmas Eve dish. Maybe you will be tempted and this year for Christmas you will prepare this soup.

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Fish soup with carp and paprika
Hungarian fish soup

Ingredients for fish soup.

Fish stock:

  • 800 g fish tails
  • 1 yellow pepper e.g. bell pepper
  • 1 big tomato
  • 3 tablespoons of sweet paprika in powder
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy paprika in powder
  • 400 g onion
  • 1 big potato
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2,5 l water


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 kg carp fillets
  • 300 g fish roe
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree

For serving: pasta.

How to make Hungarian fish soup.

Fish stock: put the diced onion and butter into a pot. Fry over a medium heat for three minutes. After three minutes, add sweet and spicy paprika powder and cook for a few seconds. Then add the diced vegetables, fish tails and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes on a low heat.

When the stock is cooked, pour it through a fine strainer. Take the bones from the tails and leave only the meat. Put the vegetables and the fish through a fine sieve a few times to eliminate as many bones as possible.

Put the stock back on the heat, add salt, carp fillets, bay leaves and tomato puree and bring it to boil. Cook for 10 minutes over a low heat. After ten minutes, add the fish roe and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Serve the soup with cooked pasta.

Fish soup with carp and paprika
Hungarian fish soup

Good to know when making Hungarian fish soup.

For the fish stock, I used very meaty carp tails. You can replace the fish tails with a any small fish of your choice.

When the stock is ready, it really has to be put as many times as possible through a fine sieve. I managed to avoid the bones in the stock by doing this properly.

I used carp fillets. You can also use carp bells but remember that they have a lot of bones.

Do you like fish? If so, try our recipe for Teriyaki salmon.

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