This is believed to be Russia’s oldest recorded soup. Traditionally, several fish varieties are added to maximise flavour.
- 240 g (about 2) centre-cut salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1 kg whole bigeye ocean perch or other soft-fleshed fish, cleaned
- 1 onion
- 1 large carrot, ½ roughly chopped, ½ sliced on the diagonal
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 4 parsley stalks, leaves picked
- 1 sebago potato, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
- dill sprigs, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cut salmon into 12 pieces, reserving the trimmings. Remove and reserve the head and tail from the perch, then cut body into 6 cutlets (a section sliced horizontally through the whole fish), or ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Refrigerate salmon and perch cutlets until needed.
Place fish head and tail, and the salmon trimmings in a stockpot with onion, chopped carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley stalks and 2 litre water. Bring to the boil, removing any scum from the surface. Reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. Drain and reserve 1.2 litre stock, discarding solids.
Bring stock to the boil in a saucepan with 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat to medium and add potato and sliced carrot. Cook for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a plate. Add salmon and perch cutlets to stock and cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked, then transfer to a plate. Strain stock through a sieve and return to the pan over medium heat. Return fish and vegetables to stock and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve scattered with dill.
Drink 2011 Scott Fiano, Adelaide Hills, ($25)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg86.
Photography by John Laurie.