When I was in the Faroe Islands, one of my favourite meals was at Fiskastykkið in Sandavágur. Their fish soup was delicious and flavourful! And it was served with an unusual spongey bread. The soup was creamy, and I could taste the fresh herbs and fish. Unfortunately, I did not get their recipe for fish soup, so I have made my best guess to re-create it at home. One of the special ingredients was definitely a herb oil, as I could see the green oil floating in the soup. And if I had to guess which herbs were in the soup, I would day definitely chives, dill, and parsley. I am a little less certain of the others.
Although it takes awhile, it is important to make fresh fish stock. You can buy cubes but those are usually a bit too salty. It’s actually quite easy and uses parts of the fish you would normally throw away, the head and bones. Another important step is to saute the fish before adding it to the soup. I didn’t do this the first time, and it definitely affects the flavour. I will keep trying to improve the recipe, but this version is pretty good. In fact, I would say it is getting close to the restaurant version.
In my experimentation, I also made an Asian version of fish soup. It has slightly different flavours but mostly the same ingredients.
3 litres water
Head and bones from a whole white fish (sea bream, sea bass or cod)
1 clove of garlic
Handful of parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black whole peppercorns
2.5 litres of fish stock
400g salmon fillets, skinned
400g white fish fillets, skinned
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
2 carrots, cut into small cubes
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1-2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
500 ml double cream
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt or more to taste
Pinch of white pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
150 ml fresh herb oil
First, prepare the fish head and bones. If the fish is small then you may want to use two fish. Save the fish fillets for the soup. Remove the gills and wash blood from the head and bones. Put the head and bones into the stock pot. Next, add the water and all other stock ingredients. Bring to a boil and skim off the froth, discarding with a spoon. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Then remove from heat, strain the broth and set it aside.
While the stock is simmering, prepare the soup ingredients. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the fish pieces lightly with salt.
In a separate frying pan, saute the onion and garlic in butter over medium-low heat until they are soft. Then add the onion and garlic into the fish stock. Also add the potatoes, carrots, chives, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Season with salt, white pepper and turmeric.
In the meantime, add fish pieces to the frying pan. Add some more butter and quickly fry until the fish is slightly browned. Then add the fish to the soup. Mix in the double cream. Then drizzle in the herb oil and a squeeze of lemon (optional). Finally, ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley or dill, and serve with a side of bread.
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