Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lohikeitto - Finnish salmon soup

Phew, what a day.. 9 fires in San Diego, Santa Ana blowing crazy the whole day tormenting the trees, and some 38C in shade.
Nothing like baking, or even cooking, time, but I promised to bring lunch for our teacher, and nothing less but Finnish Salmon soup.
Salmon soup is a kinda big win 'cause is ready in 25 minutes, plus prep, (which is much better than cooking goulash), and gets equally many compliments (almost) than the goulash.. Almost, not because it's worse, but because has quite some half-half in it, which is not the easiest meal for a stomach :)

All in all, it is totally worth making it!
Start by hitting the stores for fresh salmon. I went for a combination of sockeye salmon and wild salmon file, which gives an extra kick to at least the looks ;), and the rest of the ingredients is most probably laying in your pantry.

400-500 g, 1 pound salmon
4 medium carrots
6 medium potatoes
2 onions, or 1 American onion (for some reason they are extreeeeeeemly buge)
200 ml half-half, cream (ruokakerma ;))
bay leaves, salt, black pepper
dill, 3-5 tbsp, depends on your preferences

Take a medium sized pot, minimum 3 liters.
Clean the potatoes, onion and carrot. Chop the carrots in thin slices, and cut the potatoes in not too small pieces, about 2x2 cm, or 1x1 inch.
There are two choices how to start cooking:
1) Put the potatoes, onion, carrot and add water until covered plus 3 cm, 4 inch.
2) Chop the onions. Add 3 spoons of oil, I prefer sunflower oil, heat it up, add the finely chopped onions, and fry them until golden. Add a generous dash of water, and continue simmering until it is reduced back to oil only. It caramelizes the onions and gives it a smooth texture and taste. That's what I did... Next add the finely slices carrots, and potatoes, stir just couple of times, and then fill with water until all covered, plus the 3 cm, 4 inch.

Either way, now add the spices: a tsp of salt, large pinch of pepper and 2-3 bay leaves.
Cook for 15 minutes, until it is almost fully cooked.
Meanwhile cut the salmon in generous cubes, 4x4 cm, or 11/2x1 1/2 inches.
Add the salmon and add finely chopped dill, leaving some for serving.
Adjust the water level, saltiness and amount of black pepper if needed, the potatoes will most probably soak up some.. If you like a less thick soup add more water, but in general is best as is, a bit more thick than the average Hungarian soup.
Cook for only 5 more minutes. Add the cream, wait until it starts bubbling and remove from the heat.
Serve with a pinch of fresh dill on top.
Bon appetite!

Ps. It can be served even cold, or colder, which makes it more appealing in this hot weather.

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