Fish soup (how to make fish stock)

VIDEO: Faroese inspired Bouillabaisse soup with plaice, salmon and shrimp

The stock is the soul of a fish soup. It is easy to make fish stock. So if you appreciate a good fish soup you should definitely try it, get some fish bones and make your own fish stock.

This recipe is a Faroese inspired Bouillabaisse soup. Bouillabaisse was originally a stew made by fishermen in Marseilles using fish species which they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets. A traditional Bouillabaisse consists of at least three kinds of fish and shellfish, and vegetables such as onions, celery and tomatoes simmered together with the broth.

You can use any kind of fish and shellfish. In this recipe, I am using plaice for the stock. The distinct umami-like taste of the plaice is a perfect base for a soup. Salmon also goes very well in a fish soup and the beautiful pink colour, creamy texture and rich flavour of the Faroese salmon is a perfect complement to the moist texture and a delicate taste of the plaice. The salty taste and firm succulent meat of coldwater shrimp make this fish soup a symphony of flavour and texture.

  • Author : Gutti Winther
  • Category : Dinner/Soup
  • Cuisine : Mediterranean/Nordic
  • Yield : 8 servings
  • Stock:
  • A whole plaice - or fish bones and head (1000 g)
  • (There are instructions on how to prepare and fillet a plaice in the video above. You can also use other types of fish such a cod or haddock.)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small celeriac
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • A handful of parsley stalks
  • 2-3 litres of water
  • Soup:
  • Plaice fillets, skinned (400 g)
  • Salmon fillets, skinned (400 g)
  • A large handful of coldwater shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 fillets of anchovies in oil, chopped
  • 1 fennel, diced
  • 8 large cherry tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • Half a butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • A handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Start by making the stock. Wash the head and bones. Wash out any blood and remove the gills from the head. The gills and blood can make the stock go cloudy and taste bitter.
  • (There are instructions on how to prepare the head and bones for the stock in the video above.)
  • Cut the bones into pieces and put them into a pot. Cut the onion, celeriac, carrots and celery into large chunks and add them to the pot with the garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley stalks. Add cold water and bring to a boil.
  • While the stock is boiling skim the froth, so you get a clear stock. Let the stock simmer for about 20 minutes. When the stock is ready let it rest for 20-30 minutes, before straining.
  • While the stock is simmering and resting prepare the soup ingredients.
  • Dice and chop the vegetables and anchovies. Cut the plaice and salmon fillets into bite size pieces and sprinkle with salt.
  • Sauté the onion, garlic and anchovies in a pot in olive oil for a couple of minutes. The onion and garlic should only soften and not brown or caramelize. The anchovies will melt and add a lovely savoury umami hint to the soup.
  • Add the tomatoes, carrots and fennel and sauté for a couple more minutes. Then add the butternut squash, thyme and bay leaves. Add the wine and let it absorb into the vegetables while stirring.
  • When the wine has evaporated add the fish stock and let the soup simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender. Season the soup with salt.
  • Add the plaice and salmon, put the lid back on and let the fish poach gently in the soup. The fish only needs poaching for couple of minutes and be careful not to overcook it. Finally add the shrimp and chopped parsley. The shrimp do not need any cooking.
  • Serve the soup in bowls with some bread on the side.