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For your next big catch – Portuguese fish soup

Portuguese fish soup is the perfect tasty, speedy recipe to feed a large hungry camping crew.

Done in the pressure cooker with so few ingredients, this colourful, simple meal will be ready in less than 15 minutes. Recipe is compliments Suzanne Gibbs, ‘The Presser Cooker Recipe Book’ that has a range of quick healthy meals, many I’ve found are ideal for camping.

If you don’t yet have a pressure cooker, the recipe works just as well in a regular pot, but in a pressure cooker it’s ready in one third of the time – giving you more time to catch up with friends around the fire. Using a pressure cooker will also preserve your precious gas, unless you decide to cook it on the fire in a camp oven.

The broth is so thick you could also think of it like a light stew. The fish is added towards the end to prevent it becoming overcooked.

Serves 4-6 / prep 15 minutes / cook 15 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 white onion chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into large dice
good pinch saffron threads
3 potatoes, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup basmati rice
6 cups water or 3 cups fish stock and 3 cups water (water is just fine and easier for camping)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg firm-fleshed fish such as barramundi, ling or flathead, skinned and cut into large chunks
extra virgin olive oil for serving
1 bunch coriander, washed, stems and leaves finely chopped


  1. Put the olive oil, garlic, onion, tomato, saffron, potato, rice and water (or water and fish stock) into the pressure cooker and season with salt and pepper. Close and lock the lid, then bring the cooker to low pressure over high heat. Once low pressure has been reached, reduce the heat to stabilise the pressure and cook for 8 minutes.
  2. Release the pressure using the natural-release method, unlock and remove the lid, and add the fish pieces. Return the cooker to the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle each serving with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.


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Angela Armstrong
Angela Armstrong
Angela is a writer, author and marketer. She has spent many years touring and camping with her Antarctic-expeditioner, UN-contractor husband - but not so long she has forgotten what it's like starting out. Her latest book, Camping In Style, shares their knowledge, helping campers of all levels discover tools for the most comfortable camping holidays.


  1. It’s a fish soup, but nothing to do with Portugal at all. I’m Portuguese and the traditional fish soup/stew that we have is Caldeirada or Cataplana and they are nothing like it…..Where does the idea of calling it Portuguese come from ?

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