Vietnamese tomato fish soup

This aromatic soup was inspired by my mom’s cooking with my spin of it with a combination of dill, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. If you don’t have kaffir lime leaves at home, buy it. There is not another substitute for it’s flowery aromatic fragrance. Kaffir lime leaves can be found at most Chinese grocery stores in Toronto and normally comes in bulk. To extend its shelf life, it is best kept in the freezer.

The delicious soup tastes great with vermicelli, udon or on its own. I served the soup with crispy salmon skin to provide some crunch.


1 large tomato-rough chop, keep the seeds
1 onion-diced
2 garlic cloves-minced
1 cup of fennel- sliced
1 lemongrass stalk- cut into a few pieces and bruised
A handful of dill-rough chop
3 kaffir lime leaves-ripped in half
2 L of fish stock (home made recipe here)-can use store bought seafood or fish stock
Oil of your choice to cook the vegetables
Dash of fish sauce when cooking the vegetables and for flavouring the soup
Pinch of salt (optional)
Green onions or cilantro for garnish (optional)

Preparation work:

  1. Cut the vegetables including tomatoes, onions, garlic, dill and fennel. Set aside.
  2. Peel the woody layer of the lemongrass. Use the back of the knife to bruise the lemongrass to release the juices. Cut into a few pieces. Set aside.
  3. Rip the kaffir lime leaves in half and set aside.

Cooking steps:

1. In a pot, turn the heat on medium-high, add cooking oil and sweat the onions. Cook the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic.

2. Add in the tomatoes and fennel. Add a dash of fish sauce and cook the tomatoes down until it is completely broken down. Add more oil as needed.

Cooking down the tomatoes and fennel

Cooking down the tomatoes and fennel

3. Add in the fish stock and bring the soup to a boil. Add in the dill, lemongrass, lime leaves and lower the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Ladle into soup bowls. I added some green onions before serving.

Tomato fish soup with fennel

Tomato fish soup with fennel

For the salmon skin, I drizzled olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and cooked in the oven at 385 degrees F for about 20 minutes. I flipped it at 10 minutes. Keep checking to not burn the skin.

Crisping the salmon skin

Crisping the salmon skin

Feel free to add additional vegetables, shrimp or chicken in the soup. Enjoy!

Share it!

One comment

Leave a Reply