Bergen fish soup

797162E0-E991-415E-B6DA-EE43FFF548A5My friend Philippa made this for us when we had a girls’ reunion in Celra. She had been shown how to make it when she was visiting friends in Bergen. It is simplicity itself to cook, but looks and tastes rather sophisticated. As you can make it with frozen fish fillets and a long-life carton of stock it is a useful store cupboard standby. Any firm fish fillets will work and you can adapt the green vegetables to what you have to hand. Some asparagus spears, a head of fennel, or some cavolo nero all sound appealing. I can see it becoming a regular at our table.

These quantities are for four, served with good fresh bread. The dried herbs are a good addition but not essential. Philippa used a French mixture of dried herbs for fish; fennel seed or dill would work well

We ate a big dish of griddled asparagus beforehand; a green salad – maybe with watercress and fennel or chicory – before or afterwards would be an alternative if you want to serve another course, though the soup is very satisfying.

1litre good quality fresh fish stock
1tsp dried herbs
400-500g salmon fillets (frozen or fresh)
4 medium potatoes
1 leek or a bunch of chives
200gms French beans or peas
200ml single cream
Chopped chives, dill or parsley to garnish

Wash the potatoes and dice into bite-sized chunks. Prepare whichever green vegetables you are using: wash and slice the leek, chop the chives, top and tail the beans and cut into 2-3cm pieces. Put the stock, herbs, vegetables and frozen fish fillets into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. If using fresh fish fillets or vegetables that need less cooking (such as peas) add them to the soup after about 10 minutes.

Simmer until the potatoes are tender, which should be about 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add a grind of black pepper if needed. Gently break the fish fillets into large bite-sized pieces and stir in the single cream. Spoon into bowls and scatter with the chopped herbs.

Now repeat on a regular basis…

(Thanks to Sue for the photo)

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