Fish soup

Fish soup.

Fish soup is so delicious and need not be difficult to make if you have a source of cold water salmon, for example. It's the best source of two of the omega-3 fatty acids.

This page was last updated on 9th June, 2019 by Dr Barrie Lewis.

Cold water fish is the finest way to to get plenty of omega 3 oil.

If you ever get to Leeuwaarden in the Netherlands, don't miss Antonio's salmon soup. We had lunch there yesterday and it's the most magnificent I've ever had. So I chiselled the recipe out of him, of course.

Your soup can be made with many different ingredients depending on your taste. Some like it hot; add more spicy paprika like jalapenos. If you enjoy garlic, or other herbs, then by all means experiment. I like to add a few greens near the end; what the family calls Dad's weeds; parsley, rocket, basil and any of your favourites.

We love to visit the fish market where you can buy a salmon skeleton for a song. It makes a wonderful stock, rich in gelatine and glucosamine, both known to protect degenerating cartilage, but it's a bit of a schlepp, so you really you can use regular stuff from the supermarket.

  • One or two chopped onions; less if you suffer from heartburn.
  • Two chopped peppers, one hot and the other sweet.
  • 200g salmon pieces, diced.
  • Optional. One litre salmon stock, made from head and filleted backbone. Boil 45 min.
  • Three chopped tomatoes.
  • A couple chopped celery sticks. Include the leaves if they are fresh.
Leeuwaarden restaurant for fish soup.


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PREPARATION of the full monty fish soup

  1. In a large caste-iron kettle prepare the fish stock. Boil a salmon head (best to remove gills first) and/or backbone in enough water to cover the fish pieces for one hour or until tender. Whole black pepper corns add a delicious peppery taste. Strain and keep the bouillon.
  2. If you have time and the inclination, use the flesh at the back of the neck, along the jaws, and even the eyes, a delicacy in many countries. Do not neglect to include the omega-3 rich fat that you will find. Discard the gills and and carefully ferret out the bones.
  3. Lightly fry the onions in a little olive oil (not too much, cold water salmon is already rich in oil). Add 1 TBSP water and continue frying lightly until the onion turns yellow and softens. A few cloves of garlic may be added to taste.
  4. Add the chopped peppers, frying gently, and then toss in the tomatoes and celery. Celery too has anti-arthritis properties and tastes wonderful in any case.
  5. Add the fish stock, and the salmon pieces. When the fish is tender, add a little white wine.
  6. Add salt to taste, sprinkle with parsley, a wonder food, misjudged as a pretty-pretty garnish. Often it's the healthiest food on the table, and ends up in the garbage. Believe you me, the snails have better sense than many humans. They will give all the other plants in the garden the miss, just to get a mouthful of parsely. I know, I've just dispatched about 20 tucking into our parsley patch to the nethermost ends of the planet. Actually to the swans that live in the "sloot" at the bottom of our garden. Have you a parsley patch? If you sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page, one of our back issues will tell you why I am so crazy about parsley as a health food.

Serve with sourdough bread.

Photograph of a salmon being caught by an eagle, perfect for fish soup.

Guests for dinner?

This eagle's obviously expecting guests, and he knows what to lay on...

Olive oil dips on bread go well with fish soup, especially if you are looking to counteract arthritis with known natural anti-inflammatories like olives, celery and fish. For a very simple Eggplant dip, Baba Ghanoush .., click here …

Here's a little warning. This is a very rich fish soup. Sensitive stomachs may get heartburn or indigestion. With bread or rolls it may create havoc in the early hours if you are prone to epigastric pain. Serve it rather for Sunday lunch.

Here's an interesting update. I've discovered that it's the chemicals that bakers put in our commercial bread, rather than wheat products that give me heartburn. I now bake our easy sourdough recipe, and I have minimal trouble with soup and toast for supper. Baked every day, it takes only five minutes.

White bread rolls as served in many restaurants seem to be the worst; for me, with a soup they're a recipe for a night of agony.

After a fifteen years struggle with epigastric pain, a friend introduced me to a remarkably simple solution.

Now we enjoy kefir benefits for breakfast every morning.

Salmon oil

This fella knows where to get his salmon oil; the whole fish of course contains much more than just the fatty acids the salmon is famous for. I'm convinced we should be eating a wide range of foods rather than swallowing bucketfuls of supplements. Nevertheless, far from the cold ocean, I too have difficult getting the best ingredients for our fish soup.

Tingling in arms and hands

Tingling in arms and hands, and feet too, is the mostly commonly raised topic in correspondence to the editor of Chiropractic Help. You too can pose a question.

Aside: Repeated bouts of indigestion may damage the parietal cells that produce a very important substance for the absorption of Vitamin B-12 called Intrinsic factor. Deficiency leads to a serious condition called Pernicious Anaemia. Read about it at Tingling in arms and hands ... scroll down.

If you are regularly taking indigestion medication, consider a good Greek Olive Garden Salad recipe with every meal as it will go a long way to cure your indigestion. How can I be so sure? I too suffer from heartburn if I enjoy fish soup and bread, should I eat in an indiscrete manner. A good salad does wonders to prevent the midnight blues.

It'll cure your constipation too! Actually not a !!! laughing matter. Constipation is the cause of a whole host of misery. Click here for our cure-all for constipation. BEETROOT CONSTIPATION ...

The sweet and sour flavours in borscht is a much favoured way of enjoying beets in Eastern Europe.

Bernie's beetroot soup is so easy to make.

Two more thoughts on tingling.

  1. A frank B1 deficiency also causes a very serious fatal, but today uncommon disease called beri-beri. However most American are thiamine deficient. Still eating white (beri-beri) rice? Generalised muscle weakness and tingling ...
  2. Tingling in arms and hands and feet most usually comes from a pinched nerve in neck or back..

Gelatine for chiropractic help

The protein in bones and cartilage (and in the skin) is called gelatine. It contains all the amino acids that are needed to build healthy cartilage. That is the gelatinous mass that's left after cooking up your fish skeleton, though it can also be made from chicken bones, actually any animal bones.

Interesting research shows that it is the gelatine (easily made in the home) that can restore damaged arthritic cartilage. Just one more reason to enjoy fish soup. Read more about gelatine powder for arthritis.

Omega 3

The omega 3 fatty acids in fish soup not only protect the joints and muscles from inflammation; they also give protection to the brain when increasingly exposed to a frightening array of toxic chemicals added to our food.

Parkinson's disease, for example, occurs when cells in the midbrain called the substantia nigra degenerate, decreasing the production of a vital brain chemical called Dopamine.

Glutamate and nitric oxide preservatives are now known to release free radicals that target the substantia nigra nucleus, one of the basal ganglia.

Food scientists at the University Laval, Quebec, took two groups of white mice. One group was fed a diet high in fish oil, the other the normal diet. Both groups were then poisoned with a neurotoxin known to target the Substantia Nigra.

The result: "High omega 3 PUFA dietary consumption (fish oil) completely prevented the MPTP-induced decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-labeled nigral cells." In English: fish 'completely prevented' the toxic effect of the poison on the subtantia nigra nucleus.

This test was done after the omega 3 in fish oil was found to have a similar effect on Alzheimer's.

Fava beans are one of the very few natural sources of L-dopa, the precursor of dopamine; many sufferers find them a better solution to the medication for Parkinson's disease. Unfortunately they are almost impossible to purchase, where I live in South Africa, anyway.

Luckily fava beans nutrition is readily available if you grow them yourself.

Fava beans for tremors to supplement fish soup for Parkinson's disease.


You may be wondering why a chiropractic help website is talking about fish soup, indigestion, Pernicious anaemia, Parkinson's disease, constipation and the like.

There are several reasons. Firstly chiropractors are into healthy, natural living. That means, amongst other things, eating better. Plus I just find the taste of a beetroot salad, and borscht too, absolutely delicious if you do it right. Parsley and sweet basil are my favourite herbs.

And secondly, whilst a chiropractic adjustment is known to help constipation and indigestion, one needs to address other causes of these conditions. There is no substitute for eating right, combining foods in a healthy way, and getting more exercise in addition to your occasional, regular visit to your DC.

Enjoy your fish soup. It's a bit fiddly if you want to enjoy the full Monty, but not all food, alas, can be cooked in a jiffy. This one is definitely worth the effort. Cold water fish has proven anti arthritic and heart disease properties; delicious too.

I used to go at least once a month to the fish market for a salmon skeleton.

Fish plate at the ceramics museum in Leeuwaarden.

Ceramics museum

When you get to Leeuwaarden don't miss the ceramics museum, apparently the best in the world, some of the treasures dating back to 4000 BC.

This ancient plate is just one of (I would guess) hundreds of thousands of exhibits.

Then move on to Antonios for his fish soup. Delic. Better still, make it regularly at home if you are serious about avoiding Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart disease and arthritis!


  1. Chiropractic Help
  2. Early Symptoms of Arthritis
  3. Fish soup

Talking of museums...

If you ever get to Holland, make sure you visit my favourite Dutch museum in The Hague. The Escher story is magnificent and for my money every bit as good as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Take a look at this ...

Escher's painting of fish.

And if you're vegetarian... omega-3

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