Shetland is surrounded by some of the most productive seas in the world. Situated where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean the strong tidal streams and pure clean water create rich fishing grounds.

It's easy to understand why Shetland has gained an international reputation for producing seafood of the highest quality, fish caught and landed by the local fleet is as fresh as you will find anywhere in the world.

Fishing is, and always has been, at the core of Shetland’s economy – it is currently worth around £300 million a year to the islands.

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Recipes from Shetland

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Recipes from Shetland

Shetland Fish Soup

Marian Armitage author of Shetland Food and Cooking

This is more a wintery recipe using seasonal root vegetables: onions, leek, neep (swede), carrot, tatties and really delicious celeriac, which grows well in Shetland. Once this is cooked all you do is add a selection of cut up pieces of fresh fish and cook for no more than 5 minutes. I have used squid, cod and monk cheeks, but the choice is endless. 

25g Shetland butter
1 small onion, chopped
Half a leek, thinly sliced 
1 carrot, grated
50g of neep, grated 
50g of celeriac, grated 
1 clove of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tattie, peeled and cut into small bits
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 tin of chopped tomatoes, approx. 400g
Pepper and a little salt
200ml white wine
200ml fish stock
A handful of coarsely chopped parsley
250g Shetland fish, your choice (I’ve used squid, cod and monk)



Soften the onion and garlic in the butter. Add absolutely everything else and cook for a good half an hour.

The raw fish should be added 5 minutes before serving with a handful of parsley to garnish.

Lift the fish from the milk and pour it in. Ease down to a gentle simmer (the soup, not you). Break the fish into large chunks, removing any skin or bones. Chop some parsley and chives until you can’t bear to chop any more, that is a chiffonade.

*Tricky bit klaxon*

Not that tricky, really. Take a couple of ladles of the soup and pound in a mortar and pestle until smooth, then tip back in. You now have a thick soup that still has chunks in it, Aren’t you clever!

Slide the fish back into the soup, warm through gently then serve with a sprinkle of chiffonade on top and crusty home made bread on the side. You DO make your own bread, don’t you!

Community Food Fund

The East of Scotland Seafood project is a partnership initiative led by local authorities, business leaders and coastal communities. It is supported by the Community Food Fund, which is financed by The Scottish Government and has been created to promote local food and drink, in line with Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy.