We recently got back from an unforgettable trip to Norway and all I can think about is how crazy hard it is to find some good fish soup in NYC. If there was one food I could bring back with me it would be fiskesuppe, okay well maybe fish cakes, and gjetost, and waffles too.
Growing up my mom made Norwegian fish soup and homemade bread quite a bit, especially in the winter. In Norway you can find fish soup year round, we were there in late summer and had some on the streets of Bergen, homemade in the island of Fedje, and even atop a mountain!
I think one of the many highlights of this trip was hiking to the top of a mountain in Bergen only to find the most perfect mountain lodge cafe serving a piping hot bowl of fiskesuppe topped with celeriac oil. I could have stayed on the top of that mountain and ate my weight in fish soup that day. The photo above is the bowl of soup I am talking about. It was one of those #GOALS scenarios I dream of and travel for.
Norway developed a new constant craving for Fiske Suppe in both myself and fiancé. It’s creamy and yet light all at the same time as well as fresh with a hint of lemon and dill served along side hot bread and butter. I mean…
I decided to start experimenting with my own fish soup by first figuring out the fastest and easiest way I could make a bowl of Norway right at home. In my head it’s so sacred and traditional that I never believe I have enough time to make it, so I wanted to see what happens if I try to make it while on a time budget. Last week I became determined to find an easier way than having to whip up some fish broth from fish bones (this is the most delicious and common way to do it in Norway). But let’s be real, I don’t just have a stock pile of fish bones all the time. Next time we’ll go all out, but for now, let’s be efficient. Or should I say eFISHient?
I called my mom up in Wholefoods and said “Listen I need a fiske suppe shortcut, just give me some kind of miracle life hack.” She told me I could pick up a bottle of clam juice and vegetable broth to make my own version of fish broth if I wanted to be quick. GUYS.. clam juice creeps me out but let me tell you it has opened my eyes to something to the fiske suppe shortcut there is.
I figured out a few other short cuts on my own while at Trader Joes. I usually buy whole celery, onions, and carrots to add to the ‘mirepoix’ (base of soup) but when I know I have a busy week I pick up one of Trader Joes layered tubs of cut carrot, celery, and onion. I used it this time because I was in a rush but I think next time I would cut up fresh celeriac root instead of celery. I also added leeks because I had some already in the fridge.
Another hack you can find at Trader Joes is wild caught pieces of deboned atlantic cod. You can find this in the freezer aisle. This was a big game changer because I am not into deboning a fish and frankly it was as easy as defrosting, opening the bag and dumping it all in the broth. Seriously no fishy mess (or smell!), I am a HUGE fan and now have a freezer stocked with cod when in a hurry!
Soup is best served piping hot topped with some fresh dill.
Toasted bread takes the place of a spoon when it come to soup in my home. We picked up some fresh cultured European style butter from the famers market and smeared that all over our charred bread. My perfect bite = crunchy buttered bread dipped in Fiske Suppe broth, and if you’re feeling wild add a thin slice of havarti to it.
-1 mirepoix tub of (carrots, celery, and onion) or cut your own equal parts carrot, celery, and onion- about 2 cups
-1 clove garlic
-2 leeks, thinly sliced
-6 cups Fish Stock or 1 bottle of clam juice (found at Whole foods) and 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/2 cup cream
-about 2lbs cut pieces of wild caught cod fish.
-3 small new potatoes, cut into chunks
-2 tablespoons of butter
-3 teaspoon fresh dill sprigs
-1 teaspoon fresh chives
-a pinch of pepper for topping
-add a pinch of salt if broth is low sodium or add salt to taste.
-toasted fresh bread and butter for serving along side soup.
Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat and add butter and garlic.
After garlic has lightly browned (about 1 minute) add the carrots, leeks, onion and celery.
Stir over medium heat for 4 minutes.
Add the broth (either the fish or clam/veggie) and potatoes to the pot and cover the pot for 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
Uncover and turn heat to low and gently stir in the cream and then bring back to a gentle simmer.
Add the fish and cook for 3-5 more minutes (until cooked through, but not too long or it will dry out). Add the juice of one lemon, sprinkle with dill, chives, and add pepper and salt to taste.
Serve immediately in bowls, scatter with more fresh herbs and serve along side toasted sourdough bread with butter. ENJOY!