Saturday 5 April 2008

svensk fisksoppa

Jonas and I have bought our tickets and we're so excited!

We’ll be off on a 5 week holiday in July/August: catching up with family and friends but also exploring some new places we’ve never been before.

First stop is a few days in Tokyo (Japan) with Jonas’ brother, David, and some other friends: Slinky Minx and Taka.

Next is 2.5wks in Sweden, which Jonas is just thrilled about. Since he migrated to Sydney (2001), he’s only been home once (2003). It's been five years since he was home!

We’ll visit family in Göteborg and Stockholm, Jonas’ home town in Västra Götaland and we’ll also spend time in the Stockholm archipelago at the summer house on the island of Muskö that Jonas’ maternal grandparents owned.

After Sweden we’re going on a road-trip with my sister, Stinky (who will be living in Amsterdam), and our best man, Tim (who is living in London). At this stage we’re planning to drive from Krakow to Budapest and explore southern Poland, eastern Slovakia and eastern Hungary.

From there Jonas and I will fly home, but only after a few days in Bangkok (Thailand). Here I plan to eat real Thai food, take a cooking class and catch up with an old friend, Chanchai.

I’m over the moon because I will be spending time in four countries I’ve never been before and seeing places from Jonas’ past. It’s going to be great.

So, in honour of this mainly Swedish focused activity and, with the knowledge that I will be seeing my in-laws again, I wanted to share the recipe for my sister-in-law’s fish soup.

I think I’m pretty lucky to have Helena for a sister-in-law. She and I are actually friends and I enjoy her company quite separately from the fact that she’s my husband’s sister.

When she and her (Aussie!!!) fiancée, Christian, moved back to Sweden, Jonas and I were sad they were gone. It was quite lonely without them.

She’s a mechanical engineer and I am constantly surprised by the impossible things she builds around the house, as well as the art she produces and the stylish way she decorates her house. I could go as far as to say she’s a “Renaissance Woman” of the modern era.

But best of all she’s a foodie. She makes great meals and puts the same amount of love and effort into cooking that Jonas and I do. It’s so enjoyable to cook for her because she gets it, and she gives it back when you eat at her home.

The very first time I went to Sweden (back in 03) she made me this fish soup and I fell in love with it. When visited for the second time last December she made it again. It's so flavoursome and flush with fresh herbs.

This has become a bit of a tradition so I think I’m going to have to ask for it again when I see her in July, but in the meantime, here it is for everyone else to enjoy too.

Svensk Fisksoppa
Helenas recept. Servar 4.
400g sej eller torskfilé (fryst) i bitar
400g räkor, kokta
½ purjolök, delas på långden och skivas
1 gul lök, hackad
2-3 klyftor vitlök, hackad
2 msk smör
1 msk tomatpuré
1½ dl fiskbuljong (z tärningar)
2½ dl vitt vin
2½ dl grädde
1 dl crème fraîche
2 dl vatten
2 msk färsk timjan, hackad
2 msk färsk basilika, hackad
Salt o peppar
½g saffran
Färsk timjan, för garnering
1. Fräs den gula löken i smöret. Lägg i purjolök och vitlök efter nån minut.
2. När mjukt, häll i fiskbuljongen, salt, peppar, basilika och timjan. Låt puttra några minuter på svag värme.
3. Tillsätt tomatpuré, vitt vin, grädde, crème fraîche och vatten. Låt koka upp.
4. Tillsätt saffran och fiskbitarna. Låt småkoka tills fisken är vit. Tar ca 5 minuter.
5. Häll upp i skålar och lägg i räkorna. Garnera med timjan.

Swedish Fish Soup
Helena’s recipe. Serves 4.
400g cod or saithe/coal fish, frozen & cut into pieces
400g cooked prawns
½ leek, cut lengthwise and sliced into rounds
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
150ml fish stock
250ml white wine
250ml cream
200ml water
100ml crème fraîche
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt and peppar
½g saffron
1. Sauté the onion in butter, after a minute add the leek and garlic.
2. When soft, add the fish stock, seasoning, basil and thyme and allow to heat up.
3. Add the tomato paste, white wine, cream, crème fraîche and water then simmer for a short time.
4. Add saffron and fish pieces, then simmer gently until fish turns white, about 5 minutes.
5. Divide between bowls, top with prawns and garnish with fresh thyme.

This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is back home this week with it's creator, the Herb Goddess Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen. Check out the round-up!



  1. Wow, it sounds like an absolutely fantastic trip. I'm excited to hear about the food you'll have in all those places. The fish soup sounds fantastic, and lucky you to have a sister-in-law that you like who's also a foodie!

  2. Anna, have a wonderful trip and I'm sure it will fuel your very international blog.

    The soup reminds of a bisque, lovely colour and elegant.

  3. I can understand why you are excited...
    It sounds like a fantastic trip! And 5 weeks WOW!!!
    Great looking soup, too!

  4. You've just described a wonderful trip, and it sounds as if you'll have a wonderful time. I can imagine the exact taste of this soup and I'd definitely make it a tradition if given the opportunity.

  5. Oh - lovely soup and a lovely trip! Do drop me a note if you have any free time in Stockholm, I'd love to see you! :)

  6. I love your blog and your recipes, therefore I have given you the Blogging With Purpose Award. Please go to my blog and see more

  7. BRAVO! bravo! You have a fabulous blog!! I am in love with your taste in food. I have been looking for that perfect food blog that has an eclectic mix of cuisines and what beautiful presentation and fascinating facts and tidbits!! YOU ROCK!!

  8. Gah! I have major wanderlust. That is the only word I really know in German, and I am certainly spelling it wrong, but it is like the opposite of homesick: the longing for travel and foreign places. Strangely (or not) we dont have such a term in American English.

    Helena's fish soup also sounds amazing. I love fish soups, like cioppino, so this seems another good one to try. very rich too!

  9. OH so lucky you to be going on such a wonderful trip! I can see already that your love for food is going to be finding some awesome culinary delights!
    I've never had a Swedish soup before and this would be the perfect one to try!
    I look forward to reading about your trip when you return!

  10. Thank you for the lovely compliments Anna! It will be so great to see you and Jonas this summer - and of course I'll make the fish soup if you want :-)

    See ya soon!

  11. Provade denna idag, riktigt god! Tack för receptet.

  12. Thanks so much for this recipe. I just came back from a few days in Sweden and had this very stew. A quick google search brought me to your blog and I'm so excited to try this out for myself.


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