Fish Soup

“One of the things that makes this recipe special is the cho cho, an edible plant also called chayote that was first discovered in Jamaica in the middle of the eighteenth century (though I’m sure it was eaten by people on the island for centuries before that).” – Ziggy Marley

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Serves: 4 to 6


  • 2 medium-sized whole fish of your choosing, or 4 small-sized whole fish
  • 6 whole Jamaican allspice berries
  • 8 cups vegetable stock, no sodium or low-sodium
  • Optional: 3 green bananas, sliced
  • 2 cho cho (chayote), peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup butternut squash, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2–3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 scallion stalks, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup greens, chopped (kale, spinach, or collard greens)
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 1–2 tablespoons Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon Coconut Oil, or coconut oil of your choosing
  • Optional additions: noodles of your choosing and lemon


  1. Remove fish heads and set aside.
  2. Fillet fish and set flesh aside.
  3. Place allspice, fish heads, and bones into a stockpot.
  4. Add 4 cups vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Strain stock, discarding heads and bones. Return stock to pot, add remaining 4 cups of stock, and bring to a boil.
  6. Add (optional) green bananas, cho cho (chayote), butternut squash, and carrot, and bring to a rapid boil.
  7. Add fresh thyme, onion, bell peppers, turmeric, ginger, garlic, scallion, and salt and black pepper, and then add greens.
  8. Place whole Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper and fish fillets on top and simmer on medium-high heat till fish is flaky and vegetables are cooked. Time varies depending on the fish; keep an eye on it.
  9. Stir in coconut oil when fish begins to flake, and simmer for about 5 more minutes, and you’re good to go. Optional additions: noodles and/or a squeeze of lemon.

Recipes by Ziggy Marley and excerpted fromZiggy Marley and Family Cookbook: Delicious Meals made with Whole, Organic Ingredients from the Marley Kitchen, copyright 2016 by Tuff Gong Worldwide, used with permission of Akashic Books ( and Tuff Gong Worldwide.

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