Thursday, February 11, 2010

Culinary Adventures Around the World - Norway

Today I decided to re-visit one of our favourite dishes from the around-the-world cooking adventure - fiskesuppe from Norway.  If any of you are Norwegian I would suggest that you leave right now and read another blog, as I'm sure my version of fiskesuppe and the one your mother made are not even close.  In case you are curious about our cooking adventure, you can read about it here and about the last country we visited here.

The ingredient list for fiskesuppe calls for two vegetables I had never bought before - and frankly, between you and me, I can see why.  They are the UGLIEST VEGETABLES IN THE WORLD.  Have a look at celeriac (also called celery root):

Really, only its mother could love that vegetable.  It has a serious image problem.  And how about this one:

Parsley root - slightly more appealing than celery root, but it still looks like an anemic carrot.  

Now that you have got over the shock of how ugly the ingredients are, we can get on with the recipe.  I have put my editorial comments and adjustments in blue.  I found the broth, in the original recipe, a little thin so I added one extra tablespoon of flour and reduced the liquids.

4 cups (1 litre) seafood stock or fish bouillons (I used 4 cups water and 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon - chicken is pretty close to fish, right???)
2 bay leaves
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 stocks celery, chopped
1/2 celery root, peeled and chopped
1 parsley root, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup green onions (I didn't have any, so I didn't use this)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I only had cider vinegar, so I used that)
1 teaspoon sugar
5.3 ounces (150 grams ) tilapia fillet or other fish
5.3 ounces (150 grams ) salmon fillet
5.3 ounces (150 grams ) shrimp (forgot to buy both the salmon and shrimp so I didn't use any this time, but I did the first time - nice but not necessary)
5.3 ounces (150 grams ) cod fillet (unfortunately, there's no cod left in the ocean, so I omitted it)
Note: 600 grams of seafood seemed like a lot to me so I only used about 200 grams of tilapia and 200 grams of sole and it was plenty
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons flour 
1 1/2 cups (1/3 litre) cream (I used skim milk, because that is just how I cook)

Bring water/bouillon/stock and bay leaves to boil in stock pot.
Add vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
Cut fish into smaller pieces and add to pot.
Bring to a boil again and turn down heat to simmer.
Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Stir flour into cream/milk and add mixture gradually while simmering.
Remove bay leaves and serve.

Enjoy fiskesuppe.  
Enjoy saying fiskesuppe.
Fiskesuppe, fiskesuppe, fiskesuppe, fiskesuppe...


  1. Those are fun photos you found for your recipe! Awesome!

  2. Hello! Your home looks so warm and confortable, I always come back. Try to grate some celery root into your basic tomato soup, let it bubble longer and you will tell me the difference. You know, I am of Italian origin (North) and we always use celery roots in our sauces - when I moved to the Americas (I lived both in the US and in South America) I was very unhappy not be able to find this ugly vegetable at the marked and had to resort to celery which has a weaker taste...