This fragrant broth-based Caribbean fish soup, also known as fish tea, is made with hearty veggies, potatoes and various types of fish and seafood.
Caribbean fish soup, also know as fish tea, is a popular seafood soup in both Caribbean and Jamaican cuisines. Traditionally fish tea can take many hours to prepare and is on the spicier side so I’ve created a 30-minute weeknight version that can be made mild OR spicy, depending on your preference.
This soup was introduced to me by my bestie Vince who grew up eating fish tea regularly in Jamaica. Chef and Owner of Irie Kitchen, a local organic Jamaican restaurant here in West Michigan, I was lucky enough to have Vince cook me fish tea for my birthday recently. I’ve had it on my mind ever since!
PS: If you’re new to The Lemon Bowl, be sure to check out the Irie Lemon Podcast for more from me and Vince!
What’s great about Jamaican fish tea is that it’s super versatile and can be made with whatever seafood you have on hand or can find fresh at your local fishmonger. My boys love all types of seafood so we typically do a mixture of shrimp and a mild white fish such as tilapia, snapper or halibut.
Kinds of fish that can be used:
Any mild white fish works well including cod, halibut, grouper, tilapia and more.
Traditionally on the spicier side, the preferred type of chili pepper is a scotch bonnet pepper. These are on the spicier side, however, so I suggest skipping it if you prefer a mild soup.
What do you serve with fish soup?
When serving, I love to squeeze in a bit of fresh lime juice, minced white onion, and fresh cilantro. These final garnishes add a ton of flavor, texture, and balance to the rest of the dish. They make everything else pop on your palette.
Fresh thyme is also a great garnish if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
Your spoon is waiting.
Caribbean Fish Soup (Fish Tea)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper optional - minced
- 2 cups quartered Yukon gold potatoes
- 8 cups chicken broth or fish stock
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1 pound raw mild white fish such as tilapia, halibut or snapper - cut in 2-inch chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
- minced cilantro, onion and lime juice to serve
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, carrots and celery, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until tender, about 7-9 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and thyme to the pan along with scotch bonnet pepper if you want it to be spicy. (Leave out the pepper to keep mild.) Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes to the pan, along with chicken broth, and stir well.
- Bring to a boil then stir in shrimp and fish along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Reduce to low and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with minced cilantro, onion and lime juice.
Find more healthy soup recipes on my Pinterest!