OVERVIEW: The first time I made this I had a chunk of salmon skeleton and two full small tilapia skeletons. I boiled all the raw remains with chunks of potatoes. When the fish looked well cooked I fished it out (excused the pun) and threw in other vegetables and herbs. I may have also added fresh or a can of stewed tomatoes. I blended the soup, then picked the cooked skeletons clean and put the meat back in the soup.
DETAILS: This time I was inspired by some inexpensive fish heads at the market. The young man there said I might prefer some salmon heads he had in the back, so I bought two. (He offered to remove the jaw so I wouldn't hurt myself when handling them, but I though that would ruin the picture.) I boiled them with a bay leaf for 15 minutes. Then I drained the soup into a smaller pot and put the heads in the fridge to be picked apart later.
After rinsing my big pot I started boiling potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnip, celery, and 2-3 bay leaves. I lowered the water to a simmer and when the potatoes were getting close to cooked I added half a bunch of dill and a little leftover parsley.
When the potatoes were cooked I fished out as much of the herbs and celery greens as I could find, plus the bay leaves. Then I added a drained can of tomatoes, the fish broth, a little salt, pepper, and a "fish and chicken seasoning" spice mix. Thanks to the hand blender my Mother-in-Law bought me, I blended everything left in the pot.
After I took steps to safely cool the soup (see end of bean soup video), I picked all the meat off the fish heads and added it back to the soup.
I was surprised that much of the meat inside the salmon head is white. I don't really know my way around a salmon head, but I decided to keep anything that had a consistency between chicken and lobster and toss anything more slimy than that.
I added the meat back into the soup while figuring out what I was going to do with all that soup. It was a lot! It would probably freeze well, but I gave a container to my neighbors, I brought a container to my co-conspirator, Hannah, and her six kids, and I kept a big bowl for my husband and I.
Some things I suggest for next time:
- I think you can cook the veggies right in the fish broth. Then you won't have a lot of extra liquid, and you can add the tomatoes with their juice earlier on.
- Use only the tops of the celery and stems of the dill. There are more noble uses for the rest.
- Up the flavor with some mushrooms, but use less of the other greens, they were a tad over-powering.
- Increase the flavor (but also the prep time) by frying onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms and adding them halfway through the potato cooking.
- Leave something else in the soup chunky besides the salmon, like leeks or mushrooms.
Do you have any ideas for making this soup more tasty, economical or ecological?