Simple Fisherman’s soup

This is the simplified, but delicious version of the traditional Hungarian Fisherman’s soup. Fisherman’s soup is a fish soup with red paprika and onions. It has many types, depending on the traditions of the different regions of Hungary. This recipe is based on the “bajai” version, but I made some modifications.

In many Hungarian families, there is no Christmas without Fisherman’s soup. Many people make it at other times of the year as well.

The soup itself is originally gluten, dairy and egg free, but in some regions, they have it with pasta. Fortunately, nowadays there are some gluten free and vegan pasta available, so we who live with food intolerance can also find our brand.

In order to make a delicious Fisherman’s soup, it’s important to use a high quality brand of red paprika. Keep the paprika in the fridge, in an airtight container, so that it won’t lose it’s taste.

fishermans soup

Makes 2 servings.


  • 1 kg carp slice
  • 1 large onion
  • 15 g sweet ground red paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 1.2 l water.


  1. Wash the carp slices, salt them and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. (Be careful not to oversalt the fish, because a part of the water will vaporize when boiling, so the soup will be more salty in the end of cooking then it was in the beginning.)
  2. Peel and wash the onion and chop into small cubes.
  3. Place onion in a large heavy bottomed pan. Place the fish slices on the onion: start with the round (or oval) pieces, then put the horseshoe shaped ones on top. Add water, cover and bring to a boil.
  4. When water is boiling heavily, wait until the foam dissipates then add red paprika. Cook uncovered for about 25–30 minutes from boiling. Make sure the water is constantly boiling heavily because this prevents the fish from falling into pieces. Don’t stir the soup or the slices may fall apart.
  5. When the soup is ready, taste it and add more salt if necessary.
  6. Cook some gluten free vegan pasta in a separate pot and serve the soup with it. In our family we usually have it with tagliatelle, but if you find it more convenient, you can use an other type of pasta as well.

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