Ancient Ten Fish Soup Recipe

Discovered after analyzing carbonized food debris from a 1,300 year-old vessel, the Ancient Ten Fish Soup recipe is now available for you and your culinary curiosity!


Reconstructed vessel from Peace Bridge.
Reconstructed vessel from Peace Bridge.

This reconstructed vessel was found on the Peace Bridge site in Fort Erie, ON. The vessel was radiocarbon-dated to AD 675 and, based on analysis of the carbonized food debris encrusted on the interior surface of the vessel, the pot was likely used to cook fish stew or soup. Some of the food debris was determined to be fresh and some of it had obviously been in the pot for a long period of time. The bones of the fish that had been in the pot for some time were almost completely leached.


Based on the food debris findings, journalist Mike Vogel and Beverly Hill teamed up to recreate the soup, which would then be passed on to the Indigenous Culinary Course at Niagara College.

And so, in 1998, an event was held that was sponsored by the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, and over 100 people were able to share the meal that had been cooked and lost the day the vessel collapsed in a hot ember fire, 1300 years previously.



Have ready:

A old postcard from the Fort Erie Historical Museum showing the recipe.
A old postcard from the Fort Erie Historical Museum showing the recipe.

– Three fresh pickerel
– Three white bass
– One piece river sturgeon
– One venison shoulder (bone in)
– Lake Erie water (may substite)
– One bowl shelled walnuts
– One generous handful purslane

METHOD: Place venison in large clay stew pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until the venison is tender and falls off the bone. Meanwhile, clean fish and cut into small two inch chunks. Include head and tail. When venison is tender, add fish chunks and shelled walnuts. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Just before serving add purslane and heat through.

Serves the extended family. Enjoy!