A flavorful and aromatic broth lays the foundation for a delicious seafood soup made with white fish, scallops, shrimp and mussels. For as elegant and impressive as this soup is, it’s also very quick and easy to pull together—making it great for the holidays, Sunday night dinners, or even last-minute get-togethers. Serve with crusty bread or croutons for a crunchy finish.

About This Seafood Soup Recipe

If you love all kinds of seafood and fish, then this soup is for you! It’s light, flavorful and filling enough to be a meal all on it’s own—especially if you serve it with croutons or crusty bread. This fish stew is definitely a year-round recipe, but I especially love to serve it during the holidays and for Christmas Eve.

This soup is refined and elegant, but also incredibly quick to cook and easy to prep. Plus, the veggies can be prepped up to 3 days ahead of time, which will save you time once you get to cooking.

Looking for a creamy seafood chowder soup? We have a bright and flavorful Salmon Chowder that’s great for spring and a savory Shrimp Bisque we often serve during the holidays. If you’re looking for a crab recipe, check out our Crab Salad.

Watch: How to Make Seafood Soup

Ingredient Notes


Fennel (both the bulb and the fronds), onion, leeks and celery are the veggie-base for this soup. Be sure to clean the leeks very well before cooking with them.


Garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and parsley are the flavor enhancers. We prefer to use fresh herbs, but we offer measurements for dried herbs as well.


Dry white wine (such as Sauvignon blanc or Pinto Grigio), clam juice, seafood stock and lemon juice make up the flavorful broth. You can find clam juice near the canned fish. Find seafood stock in the broth and stock section, or next to the canned fish. Or be an overachiever and make your own using shrimp shells.)

Fish & Seafood

We’re using a combination of firm white fish (such as cod, haddock, halibut, red snapper, or sea bass), mussels or clams, scallops and shrimp. For the shrimp, we recommend using medium (41/50 count) or medium-large (36/40 count).

If you’re a clam-lover, be sure to check out our Clam Pasta! And if you love mussels, then you’ve gotta try this Mussels Recipe!

mussels, shrimp, scallops and chunks of white fish in broth with herbs and croutons in a white bowl set on a wood table

Test Kitchen Tips

  • If you have quite a bit of the soup leftover, I recommend only reheating what you’re going to eat. The more times you reheat the soup, the more over-cooked the fish and seafood will become. Reheat seafood soup on the stove top over medium—bring to a low simmer then remove from heat and serve. Avoid bringing to a boil as this will over-cook the fish and seafood.
  • We suggest pairing this seafood soup with crispy white wines such as: Voigner, Pinot Gris or Assyrtiko.

What to Serve with Seafood Soup

Fill out the menu with any of these stellar side dish recipes.

mussels, shrimp, scallops and chunks of white fish in broth with herbs and croutons in a white bowl set on a wood table

Seafood Soup Variations

  • Stir in cream or coconut milk at the end for a creamy fish soup.
  • Add a pinch of saffron with the other herbs, and feel free to finish the soup with a variety of fresh herbs.
  • Use salmon instead of, or in addition to, the firm white fish and other shellfish. Add the salmon to the soup prior to the other fish and seafood, cook for about 2 minutes before adding the rest of the fish/seafood. 
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes for a tomato-based broth.
  • Instead of croutons, serve over rice.
  • Add potatoes—cut red potatoes into a ½-inch dice. Add potatoes to the pot right before adding the broth; simmer in the broth until fork-tender.

Seafood Soup FAQs

How to store seafood soup and how long does it last?

Seafood soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Seafood soup should not be frozen. 

Which is a shellfish based, thick fish soup called?

You’re likely thinking of a bisque which is a thick, rich soup most often made of puréed seafood and cream. Vegetables are occasionally part of the mix but are always puréed (unlike chowder which leaves them in chunks). If you’re looking to try a Seafood Bisque recipe, check out our Shrimp Bisque!

What other fish or seafood can I add to the soup?

Feel free to swap the mussels for clams or try adding some lobster tail meat instead of scallions.

What is the difference between fish stew and fish soup?

Stews tend to be much heartier and thicker than soup.

Seafood Soup

4.25 from 40 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine American/Italian
Author Lauren Grant


Light and delicious, this brothy fish soup is surprisingly easy to pull together. Make this for a cozy night in, fun dinner parties, or the holidays! Depending on how many you’re serving, this soup can easily be doubled or halved. 


  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced (¾ cup)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc
  • 4 cups low-sodium seafood stock or chicken broth
  • 8 ounces bottled clam juice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 pound firm white fish,* cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound medium (41-50 count) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound scallops, feet removed
  • 1 pound mussels or clams
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Crusty bread or ciabatta croutons for serving *


  • Halve leek lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices; transfer to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Shimmy leek slices around in water; let rest 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider (or hands) strain leeks from water, being careful not to kick up dirt at bottom of bowl.
    chopped leeks in a large metal bowl filled with water
  • Heat butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. 
  • Add leek, fennel, onion, and celery; season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 8–10 minutes.
    sliced onions, leeks and fennel in a large pot
  • Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
    spices and herbs added to a pot of softened onions, leeks and fennel
  • Deglaze with wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth, 4 cups water, clam juice and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
  • Season white fish with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in shrimp and mussels, then arrange fish and scallops on top of stew, cover, reduce heat to medium-low (if your stove runs hot, reduce the heat to low), and simmer until mussels open and fish, scallops and shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes.
    chunks of fish, scallops, mussels and shrimp in a large pot of broth
  • Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, and lemon juice; season with salt to taste (at least 1 teaspoon, I add 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • Off heat, stir in a tablespoon of butter or drizzle servings with olive oil (optional). 



Firm white fish: cod, haddock, halibut, red snapper, or sea bass will all work here.
Potatoes: if you’d like to add potatoes, I recommend using red new potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them right before adding the broth.
Scallops: you can use whatever size you like I prefer 10/20 or 20/30 for ease of serving and eating. If you would prefer bay scallops, you can use those, though keep in mind they will cook faster. Add them 2 minutes after the other seafood has been added. 
Butter or olive oil: I like to cook the vegetables in butter and finish the soup with olive oil. You can use either or both!
To make ciabatta croutons: heat oven to broil with rack set 6-inches from heating element. Cut ciabatta into ½-inch cubes (I do about ¾ cup per person) and toss with extra-virgin olive oil to coat; season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 51.5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1602mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my parents when they came to visit and it was such a hit! It made my apartment smell so good! We all were soaking up our bowls with bread. A new favorite for me (especially when I have guests).

    1. 5 stars
      A low effort tasty soup with freshness and aromatics of herbs , lemon, and veggies- have made with cod, haddock even left over salmon went swimming – shrimp, scallops and fresh dug clams and mussels – prefer the mussels save the clams for stuffers- the broth is so tasty with a hint of heat definitely want to slurp it up with a crusty bread! It’s one of my go to soups on weight watchers! Love the lite broth soup as opposed to higher calorie chowda versions- thank you and give me more of “the lighter side” ❤️It!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! Loved the flavors of this soup. I used clams, cod, shrimp, and scallops. Can’t wait to make it again and try the variations!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this Seafood Soup a few times and thought I would take a minute to tell you how much we LOVE it! I found the recipe last December and it has been on repeat ever since. When we get a seafood craving we know exactly what we are having. Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  4. Could you increase your nutritional information to include more nutrients? I am on a low potassium diet but no information is available.