Stay Connected

Join us to get the latest Polish recipes and pierogi discounts.





Polish Recipes Newsletter

Polish Fish Soup Recipe (Zupa rybna)

Polish Fish Soup (Zupa rybna) is traditionally made with the whole fish--the head, skin, and all.   Instead, I decided to use filets to make it a bit easier to make. You can use cod, salmon, Tilapia, or any fish for this recipe.  If you do want to use a whole fish, just boil it in a separate pot in large chunks with lemon, water, and salt--cook till done.  Then add the deboned and chopped pieces of fish to the soup in the end.  Also, Polish fish recipes vary considerably.  Some recipes add bell pepper, some peas, some even corn.  Or, you can add all the above to your Polish soup recipe.  

The best way to make Polish fish soup is cook all your vegetables first and get the seasonings the way you like it before you add the fish.  The broth should be slightly sour -- if not, add more lemon our vinegar.  Make sure you have enough pepper and salt, these are critical ingredients in this soup recipe.  Lastly, the bacon is not required, but a couple strips of smoked bacon adds a lot of flavor if you have a mild fish such as cod.  Then, when you are really satisfied with your soup, add the chopped fish and serve after cooking just 5-10 minutes.

Polish Fish Soup Recipe (Zupa rybna)

  • 3-4 russet or sweet potatoes (diced)Polish Fish Soup, Zupa Rybna
  • 2-3 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 chopped leek, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • juice of one lemon (and use zest from peel)
  • 1-2 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 quarts water or broth 
  • 1 Tbsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp chili pepper or paprika
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 Tbsp marjoram
  • 1/2 cup rice (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream (or more to taste)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3-4 filets of fish (best to use skinless & boneless)


1.  Fry bacon with onion, leek, and olive oil in a large soup pot till cooked.

2.  Add rest of ingredients except fish and sour cream. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are tender.

3.  Add sour cream and adjust seasonings to taste.  You may want to add more pepper, salt, lemon, or herbs. 

4.  Chop the fish into bite size pieces and add to soup.  If your soup is at a full boil, and you have 1 inch pieces, it may only need to boil for 5 minutes till done.  Take a piece out and test.  Note that when you turn the heat off, it will continue to cook, so it is easy to overcook fish in soup (and it will become rubbery).

5.  Ladle the soup into bowls.  If preferred, top with fresh parsley and a dab of sour cream.


*Click "Add New Comment" below to leave a cooking suggestion about this Polish Recipe or Polish Recipes in general.  We want your feedback!





I adore two things: fish soup and journeys to Poland, my favorite surrounding is seaside. I've never done tomato soup myself but tasted in many different restaurants. In my opinion Szafarnia 10 in Gdansk cooks best one with addition of lentil!

WAY TOO MUCH Allspice and nutmeg!!! (Zupa rybna)

WAY TOO MUCH Allspice and nutmeg! My grandmother used to make this soup when I was little. I loved it so much. But those quantities of spice made it inedible. Something must have gotten lost in translation. I followed the recipe exactly. After adding the nutmeg, I knew there was something wrong. The color was off the smell was off. I'm glad I didn't put the fish in. I made some fish stock I'm going to try and dilute it by taking out half the zupa liquid and adding the stock.

Thanks for your feedback

Interesting that you thought it was too much.  This is what we used, but I guess every spice has different strength, so it could work for one household and not another.   Next time just cut in half and add more if needed later.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 15 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.