Fiskesuppe – Norwegian Fish Soup
Norway, my love… How you enchant me with your dark, green forests, your foggy mountain tops, your deep, blue fjords. Your trolls and magical stories still spark my imagination of stories long forgotten. And then your food. It is a resemblance of your character. It is sophisticated and elegant, yet at the same time earthy, rugged and traditional. Your dishes show off the high quality of the ingredients, rather than the abilities of the cook.
Take this dish for example. Fiskesuppe, a Norwegian Fish soup. It is light and elegant, but never pretentious. It showcases the fresh fish and vegetables without overpowering the ingredients.
I remember my first spoonful. I was sitting on a bench in a small plaza in Oslo, a big Styrofoam container of Fiskesuppe in my lap and a plastic spoon in my hand. It was August, the sky was blue, but in the shade it was chilly enough to make me shiver. I warmed my stiff, cold hands on the hot cup of soup and stirred the milky broth, digging for some fish. The flaky, rosy salmon, the thin, orange sticks of carrots and the green ribbons of leek that ended up in my mouth were in perfect harmony. Like a symphony, the flavors played with each other, but not tuning each other out. Simple, yet perfect. Try it!
- 1.5 lbs of fish cut into 1" cubes (salmon and cod work great)
- 2.0 lbs of mixed seafood (clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, octopus, etc.)
- 2.0 cups of dry white wine
- 2.0 quarts of fish stock (I suggest spending a bit more, as this is the base of your soup!)
- 1 cup of Half&Half
- 4 medium-sized potatoes (cut into 1/2" cubes)
- 2 leeks (thinly sliced)
- 4 medium carrots (julienned or thinly sliced)
- 2-3 garlic, minced (or more to taste)
- 4-5 sprigs of Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 Bayleaf
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Oil/Butter for sautéing
- Add your oil or butter to a stockpot and let it heat up to medium heat.
- Add the leek and carrots and sauté for 3-4 minutes on low.
- Then add the minced garlic, the potatoes and your seasonings except the salt and pepper and sauté for 1-2 more minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant, but is still white.
- Now it is time to add the wine and the fish stock and stir.
- Pop on a lid and let it come to a boil for about 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are almost done. Next, you add your seafood. Your cooking time will depend on whether you use fresh or frozen seafood and how big you chunks are, but it is done, when the shrimp are pink and the fish is flaky.
- When your fish is done, turn of the heat and stir in the Half&Half.
- Season to taste with Salt and Pepper and serve.
- TIP: If some of your seafood is frozen, add it first and let it come to a boil, then add the rest of your seafood.
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