Fish Soup to Die For


Daffodils and crocuses are popping up in my yard.  Yay!!  It’s been a tough winter in Virginia Beach.  Frigid temperatures snow, snow and more snow.  So these little harbingers of spring showing up in February are more than a joy to behold.

Makes me want to  lighten up on the heavy menus of winter comfort food.  A little bragging here. . .  I make some mean seafood stews and soups – bouillabaisse, cioppino, New England fish chowders and a simple chowder that makes good use of what’s on hand, sort of a not so New England chowder.  Yes, I do make my own fish stock.  Come on, I live by the ocean.  It’s nothing to go down to the marina and pick up a couple of pounds of  fish bones or fish heads for stock.  It’s very inexpensive and when tossed into a soup pot with some veggies and herbs, simmered for a while then strained it’s a no brainer.  The result is such an ocean fresh stock it’s hard to resist.

Today’s post is truly a fish soup to die for.  Oli always trumps me.  He makes a stock from shrimp shells that is amazingly rich, vibrant and well , to die for.  Just collect and freeze the shells whenever you’ve got them and your stock is just a freezer away.  By the way, this stock can be made with a combination of shrimp and lobster shells as well.

For this recipe, a boxed or canned fish stock will work (or head to the fish market and do as I mentioned above).  However, do make that shellfish stock.  It’s amazing what a few pieces of fish, and some shrimp floating around in this stock will do for your winter weary soul.  The fun part is breaking through the flaky pastry crust and getting that first heavenly waft of fish soup to die for.  It’s an instant cure for a winter weary soul.  Spring is around the corner.


Fish Soup to Die For

Make the shellfish stock first, as it is an important component of the soup.  It can be used immediately or refrigerated overnight.

The soup itself needs to be cold, or at minimum, room temperature before you top it with the pastry and pop it into the oven. 

2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups shellfish stock
2 cups fish stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup diced leek (white part only)
1/2 cup diced fennel

You will need 4 ovenproof soup bowls.  I used 2-cup bowls.

incredies named
click to enlarge

 1.  In a large soup pot, cook onions in butter over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.  Pour in wine and cook until liquid evaporates.
2.  Whisk in flour and stir until combined with onion mixture.


3.   Pour in shellfish stock, fish stock, cream and plop in crème fraîche.  Whisk continually while bringing to a boil over medium high heat.  Add salt and pepper.  Decrease heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes while gently whisking.
4.   Remove pot from heat.  Toss in carrots, leek and fennel.  Bring to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


Putting it all together

Preheat oven to 400 F
4 ounces peeled and cooked shrimp
4 ounces salmon fillet
4 ounces cod fillet
4 tablespoons dry sherry
4 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon milk

1.  Steam salmon and cod until tender flaky.  Or you can simply drop the fillets into salted, boiling water and cook until tender flaky.
2.  When cool enough to handle, cut fish into bite size pieces.  Divide fish and shrimp into four soup bowls and add 1 tablespoon sherry to each bowl.

3.  Stir 1 cup of the cold soup into each  bowl.
4.  Cut puff pastry sheets into rounds that fit the circumference of the soup bowl
5.  In a small bowl make an egg wash by mixing egg yolk and milk until blended.
6.  Brush the rim of each  bowl with egg wash.

7.  Fit pastry round on top of each bowl.  Gently press the edges to make a tight seal. Brush pastry with egg wash.

8. Bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes – until pastry is a lovely golden color.
9. Serve immediately.  Beware of the hot steam that will rise when you poke into the pastry.


Fish Soup.


About Allthatcooking

We are an Icelander living in Sweden and New England Yankee living in Virginia who share not only a great friendship but also a passion for world food. Our particular interest lies in the types of dishes that bring people together at celebrations and during holidays. When we take an occasional break from working on our global cookbook, we post on what is now a side project - our blog . Visit us at
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5 Responses to Fish Soup to Die For

  1. Pingback: Shellfish Stock | All That Cooking

  2. rafnerlendsson says:

    I am familiar with all kind of fish soups, except for shellfish stock soup. But it certainly looks like a “Fish Soup to Die For” But because i’m on a diet i have to exclude sugar and white flour from my food and i wonder if i can replace the white flour with something else.
    Dagrun and i are looking forward to this soup.
    Strange weather all over the world, glaciers are melting faster than expected here in Iceland.
    Best wishes to you.

  3. Pingback: Puff Pastry (Pâte Feuilletée) | All That Cooking

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