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Scandinavian Seafood Soup (Fisksoppa) Makes Perfect Winter Supper


Written December 15, 2021


Museum Member and longtime Soup & Cinema aficionado Joanne F. recently wrote to us about the soups she's making using our Soup & Cinema Cookbook.

“You're probably wondering what I've most recently tried from the Soup & Cinema Cookbook. Fisksoppa! I made the soup base without the fish and seafood and froze in individual portions. Then I've been purchasing different combinations of fish and seafood from Central Market to add to the soup base. First, cod and wild Canadian shrimp. This week, sockeye salmon and scallops (pricey, but delicious)."

Scandinavian Seafood Soup (Fisksoppa)

From the National Nordic Museum's Soup & Cinema Cookbook

There are many variations of Scandinavian seafood soup. What makes this one extra special are the key ingredients: garlic, white wine, saffron, and cream. With that combination anything will taste good! The recipe calls for fish broth or bouillon, which is easy to find in the Nordic countries but more difficult in the US. Vegetable broth can be substituted for it in a pinch. Recipe makes 6 servings.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp saffron (0.5 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 1/3 cups of fish broth (can substitute vegetable broth)
  • ¾ cups of white wine
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb of fish (whatever you have, salmon and cod is a nice combination)
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1/3 cup of cream or half-and-half
  • For serving, lemon and fresh dill


  1. Cut the onion, carrot, and potato in small pieces. Fry in olive oil together with garlic.
  2. Add saffron and paprika. Let cook a short while.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, broth, and wine. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  4. Cut fish into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Add fish to the soup. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp, 3 minutes prior to serving, or until they turn pink. Stir in cream.
  7. Serve with fresh dill and lemon wedges.

Suggested movie pairing: 

Love and Lemons/Små citroner gula

Directed by Teresa Fabik

Sweden | 99 minutes

Love and Lemons is a romantic comedy about love, friendship and the courage it takes to follow your dreams. Agnes is a chef and she loves cooking. She has a good job, a boyfriend who loves her, and a best friend who is always there for her. But on a single day she is both fired from the luxurious restaurant she works at and dumped by her boyfriend. Therefore she has nothing left to loose when a friend asks Agnes if she would like to be part owner in and open up a new restaurant. Crucial to the plot of the movie is Agnes’ mother’s recipe for the perfect soup made with lemon, cream, seafood, and love.

The Museum's popular Soup & Cinema Cookbook was reprinted in 2020 and is available in the Museum Store. A longer version of this article originally appeared in Nordic News in 2020.