Finnish Style Seafood Soup

I love soups and wanted to do something with salmon other than the usual grilling. I remembered a wonderful soup I had while visiting France called simply “Fresh Water Fish Soup”. It had salmon, trout, cream, and vegetables and was one of my favorite dishes. Here is a tribute to that dish as well as a version popular in Finland mainly because of the use of dill and allspice. The allspice may seem weird, but it works beautifully.

1 leek, cleaned, split, and cut into thin crescents 4 T butter 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced OR several small potatoes cut into bite sized pieces. (I used a bit of both since the russet was small) 1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces. 5 cups fish stock or water. (A bottle of clam juice is good here as well.) 1 lb skin on salmon 1 cod fillet 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup fresh dill. (1/2 cup dried if you don’t have fresh) 1 cup cream or half and half 1/4 tsp or more of allspice (I realized I really like this taste and doubled the amount. )

Prep your vegetables. Peel russet potato or chop boiling potatoes. Scrape and dice carrots. Chop the dill finely. Trim, split, and carefully wash the leek to get all the dirt out. Then slice thinly into crescents. Remove the skin on the salmon if it has it. Save skin. Remove shells from shrimp if it has it. Save shells.

In a saucepan, pour in the stock or water. If using stock, add the salmon skin and shrimp shells. If water, add skin and shells as well as some of the chopped leek greens, some clean carrot shavings, the clam juice if you have it. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

While stock is simmering, heat a heavy bottomed dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Melt butter in bottom then add the leeks. Cook, stirring a bit, for around 10 minutes until they are soft.

Once the leeks are soft, strain the stock and add to the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, and half the fresh or all the dried dill. Cook another 10 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft. Then add the fish, cream, allspice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer a few minutes until the fish is cooked.

Serve topped with fresh dill, minced chives, caviar if you wish. Buttered warm sourdough bread is great with this.