Sanibel Fish Soup

Sanibel Fish Soup 01
Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

I have decided to contribute to Sanibel’s gastronomic heritage (so far a rather short affair on this wonderful island in the Gulf of Mexico). An easy to prepare, light and tasty fish soup. I bought firm-fleshed fish, like Grouper or Mahi Mahi on Sanibel’s Farmers Market, which takes place each Sunday between October and April. Pollock or Cod are equally suitable. I prepared a tasty fish soup hoping that one of these days our “surf-and-turf” chefs on the island will give it a try.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (340 g) onions, cut into 1 cm dices
  • 1 cup (225 g) red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm) dices
  • 1 cup (225 g) green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm) dices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (450 g) potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm) cubes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm) dices
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
  • 3 cups (3/4 L) fish stock or clam juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of Saffron (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb (450 g) cod, pollock, Mahi-Mahi, or any firm-fleshed fish
  • 16 Gulf shrimps peeled, deveined and tails left intact (4 shrimps per person)
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) roughly chopped Italian parsley or cilantro

Sanibel Fish Soup 02


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes longer. Add potato cubes, tomatoes and wine. Bring to a brief boil. Add fish stock or clam juice and saffron (optional). Bring it to a short boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.

Add the fish and shrimps to the soup and gently simmer for about 3 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the fish. Do not overcook the fish or it will fall apart.

Ladle fish soup into warm plates and garnish it with parsley or cilantro.

Serve with garlic toasts.

….. and guess who is looking for the leftovers on Sanibel’s fishing pier

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.