Now here's a stunning root vegetable and cod chowder from Norway.
Just the ingredient list is drool worthy and so lovely for a cold winter's evening; celeriac, red potatoes, carrots and parsnips sautéed with onions and garlic. The soup base uses cream and milk based stock and to add to all of this goodness, thick chunks of cod fish is simmered until cooked and finished with aromatic fresh dill, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Insanely delicious, I am fascinated with the process of cooking this chowder which is quite different from the American version and other French cream based soups.
This hearty Norwegian stew adds all of the dairy – milk and cream right in with the root vegetables and the caseins (milk proteins) and milk fats are allowed to separate and reconstituted in the base again and again by stirring. This, I think is just fascinating because we don't let that happen too often in our cooking.
Surprisingly and counter intuitively, you don't end up with a soup that that has a grainy texture but rather a creamy and delicious one.
I also love the fact that all the root veggies are simmered with seafood stock, cream and milk – with no lid covering the pot.
In the last few minutes chucks of cod are stirred in, finished with generous heaps of dill and parsley. Lemon juice at the very end and serve with thick slices of crusty bread.
What’s not to love? And makes for a lovely change on a nippy evening.
Fisksuppe | Fish Chowder from Norway
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless cod fillet
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 stalks celery
1 small yellow onion
1 small green bell pepper
2 medium carrots
1 large parsnip
1 small celeriac (celery root)
4 medium red skin potatoes
3 cups seafood stock
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
⅓ cup dill leaves
1/2 cup parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1-1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Crusty bread, for serving
Cod fish fillets: Cut into 1-1/2” pieces and set aside.
Medium Mixing bowl:
Celery: Discard bottom white 2 inches. Halve lengthwise and chop into ¼” pieces.
Onion - Peel, discard the skin. Chop and set aside.
Bell pepper: Discard woody top and discard seeds and membranes. Chop into ¼” pieces and set aside.
Leeks - Discard root tip. Halve and slice into 1/4" thick semi-circles. Use only the white & light green parts. Discard the thick dark green portion & leaves.
Large mixing bowl:
Potatoes: Wash, cut away any eyes and dice into ½” pieces.
Parsnip: Peel & cut into ¼” circles.
Celeraic: Cut and discard gnarly top and bottom. Peel & chop into ¼” pieces
Carrots - Peel & cut into ¼” circles.
Small mixing bowl: Once fish is added to the stew,
Parsley: Separate leaves from stalks. Finely chop.
Dill: Separate leaves from stalks. Finely chop.
Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, celery, onions, peppers, and leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring until onions are soft for approx. 6-8 minutes.
Add carrots, parsnips, celeriac, potatoes, stock and milk, cream & Worcestershire sauce. On high heat, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and with no lid, cook the vegetables, stirring regularly, for about 25 minutes until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.
Add cod, and continue to cook, stirring gently, until fish is cooked through, 6–8 minutes.
Stir in chopped dill, parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with crusty bread or buttered toast points.