Tobago Fish Broth (Soup)

A classic, light soup packed with varying ground provisions and fish. Full of flavor, this soup is perfect for the cool days and nights.

How to make Trinidad Chicken Broth

The weather has officially gotten to fall weather here in South Florida. So it's time to pull out all the warming dishes.

The funny thing is this fish broth wasn't eaten in the Caribbean to "warm you up". Having soup is a part of most household's Saturday ritual. Soup Saturday is no joke. Every Saturday as a rule. Not that there couldn't be other random weekdays some soup wouldn't pop up but know that Saturday mornings, a soup pot would be bubbling.

This fish broth, or "broff" as it's fondly referred to as is a nicely well-flavored liquid packed with ground vegetables and slices of your favorite fish. It gets it's flavor from fresh herbs and well-seasoned fish.

One taste of this and you will definitely understand why this dish, though considered a "poor man's dish" is well worth the effort.


Me remaking this soup brought back a lot of memories for me about Saturdays with my family. By the time I got up my Dad had already made his way to the market to get the ingredients for whatever soup was going to be made.

The most popular one is cow heel soup (I can see your faceeee) or pigeon peas soup. When you wanted to take a break from "meat", then a nice little pot of fish broth would be the other option.

But did I mention this happens EVERY Saturday? EVERY Saturday.

Eventually, I started to skip the soup when I was old enough to either prepare my own food or go buy it. And this my friends is when I became a curry mouth. I replaced soup with countless Saturdays of curry chicken, pumpkin, and channa..

Recipe for making Caribbean Chicken Broth

As much as I got tired of the soup, I really cherished the community the making of the soup and eating it created. Soups are always made using fresh ingredients, which required heading to the market as early as possible to get the best ingredients and to try to avoid the crowd.

Have you ever experienced a Market day? Vendors are all hustling to get the next person that enters the building: "darling, I have the best price here" "sweetheart nobody produce fresher than mine" "Aye, don't buy over there I will give you a deal". The camaraderie at the market with the local vendors creates the base for this soup

The cooking, the smells, the flavors all then start to come together, but the real joy is sharing out and sitting together as a family with bowls of soup (that just came fresh from your local vendors to your table). I remember always asking my mom "Why does my Dad have to get the bigger bowl" every time. Or just the silence as everyone dives into their bounty (me having curry at a later age). Then the chatter and laughter of hearing the stories of incidents that happened to each other in the week. It's truly a good time spent. Having relocated many countries away from my parents, I have started to miss "Soup Saturdays".

Recipe for making Tobago Fish Broth

This fish broth is a light broth. Unlike our other soups, it is not ram packed with many ground provisions. You can easily use any fish that is a bit firm, I used snapper, but grouper (can you imagine I am allergic to grouper?), kingfish can be used. Dumplings can be added or omitted or thin spaghetti used.

But the most important thing is making sure you use as many fresh herbs to season up this dish as possible. The liquid is the most important part of this dish.

Then second most important is making sure that you spend some quality time with your family while slurping down this deliciousness.

How to make Fish Broth Caribbean Style


yield: Serves 4 - 6print recipe

Tobago Fish Broth

A delicious fish broth (soup) a Caribbean favorite. A light liquid soup that is packed with your fish and different provisions and is said to be great for hangovers.

prep time: 30 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 70 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs snapper cut up
  • 1 irish potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons green seasoning
  • 2 stalks thyme
  • 4 pimento seeds
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 scallion, chopped
  • 2 green banana
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 okras
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Lime juice
  • 1 tomato, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash fish with lime and water and discard water. Season fish with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon green seasoning. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Cut off tops and bottoms of green bananas and put to boil. Add a little bit of oil to the water to prevent secreting oils from the skin from sticking to the pot. Use a fork to pierce banana to test for doneness. When boiled, peel and slice and set to side to cool
  3. In another deep bottom pan heat butter or coconut oil and saute onions, celery, garlic and scallions until onions are opaque
  4. Add carrots, potatoes and green seasoning and mix
  5. Add water, thyme, pimento peppers,okra, pepper and bring to a boil
  6. Boil until vegetables are tender (Approximately 15 - 20 minutes)
  7. Add fish, tomatoes and green bananas and simmer till fish is cooked. (Approximately 6 - 8 minutes)
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lime
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Recipe for making Trinidad Fish Soup


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