the fish soup like they make it at my end of the world

this is as far as ‘ethnic’ cooking goes in my case. this, and another recipe of soup (which i might share slightly later in the year)  are very specific to the place i grew up. even if the ingredients look exotic and incompatible at first, the result is quite edible, and i believe, even delicious.

it is also quite fast – i’d say, minus the catching and gutting the fish, some 30 minutes maximum.

what you’ll need (for about 5 persons)

some freshwater fish (perch and tench are favourites) – gutted, with the scales on. the amount and size of fish  depends on what has been caught. roaches and pike make horrible soup. the recipe works well with salmon bones (the bits that remain after the fillets are cut off), but never add the salmon head, belly or the fins, incl. tail-fin. the soup will smell like rotten seawater, and you will probably have to wear a gas-mask when eating, and the smell sticks to everything forever.

potatoes, peeled (about one fist- sized tatter per person) and diced.

water – as much as it takes

one medium sized onion, chopped up nicely

a bunch of dill about 3/4 inch in diameter, finely chopped

a couple of slices bacon, cut into strips

about half a cup milk (3% or higher, the stuff they sometime sell as milk does not count), can be replaced by adequate amount of cream (18%) in case all milk in the vicinity has suddenly gone 1-2%.

salt, black pepper to taste



put the diced potatoes at the bottom of the pot. put the fish on the potatoes. add water to cover, and an inch  and a half more. add salt/pepper. bring to boil. Do NOT stir. after a prudent amount of time, check the potatoes, trying not to disturb the fish. if you disturb the fish, the bones might get into the soup, and this is something you really want to avoid. when the potatoes are soft, remove the fish carefully and place on a separate dish for the courageous people to eat.

WHILST the water is boiling, heat a skillet, add bacon chunks and chopped onion, fry till bacon is crisp. remove from the fat.

add milk, dill, bacon and onion to the now fishless soup, boil a little – 5 minutes should do it.

let the soup sit for another 5-10 minutes, serve with rye bread.



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