Easy-n-Tasty Salmon Head Soup Recipe

This is a delicious recipe for nose-to-tail eating that’s welcome all year long. Alaskan salmon head is underappreciated, but it is a flavor-packed part of the fish, thanks to a high concentration of connective tissues. It adds a rich flavor and body to the broth in this soup, rounded out by bright fresh tomatoes and crisp-tender asparagus added at the end. 

This classic seafood soup makes an impressive centerpiece at any gathering, but it’s easy enough to whip up in under 30 minutes. 

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Salmon Head Soup



2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 large tomatoes, diced
4 cups seafood stock
½ cup white wine
1 Copper River salmon head
2 6-ounce Copper River salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
½ bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and dill and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. 
  2. Add the seafood stock and wine and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon head, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and add the salmon fillets and asparagus and simmer until the asparagus is bright green and the salmon is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. 
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tips from Us

  • To serve, use two forks to remove the meat from the salmon head. It will shred easily into the soup. 
  • Save any bones to make salmon stock: cover the bones, ½ diced onion, ½ cup diced celery and 2 diced carrots with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming off any scum on the surface. Strain and use the stock to make more soup!
  • Serve with bread to soak up the delicious flavor. 
  • You can substitute fresh tomatoes for 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes. 
  • You can substitute the wine with ½ cup seafood stock and the juice of ½ lemon. 
  • Feel free to add other vegetables, including chopped greens, broccoli or zucchini instead of or in addition to the asparagus. 
  • You can also add other seafood, including scallops, shellfish, or swordfish when you add the salmon fillets at the end.