Fish Soup

  • I thought that this soup would be excellent for Good Friday.
  • The base is a simple vegetable soup with mainly “green” vegetables and a few carrots.
  • You can vary the vegetables that you use.
  • Any white fish will be good and  you just need small pieces.
  • Where my late father used to live the small river formed part of the border between the then Poland and Russia.
  • He would often catch river fish, which he really liked.
  • I am sure he would have enjoyed this soup. 

Ingredients

  • 150g white fish  (Basa, Cod or Haddock)
  • 1 onion 
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • ½ tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop up the onion and leeks.
  • Fry them gently in the butter.
  • Chop the celery into thin slices.
  • Chop the carrots into small pieces.
  • Mix all the vegetables together and add the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer till nearly soft.
  • Cut the fish into small pieces and add them to the soup.
  • Simmer till the fish is cooked.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.

 

Royal Doulton Burgundy Soup Plate

Optional – If you use more fish you can serve this more as a main dish .

Fish Pulpety

  • There are several Polish saying around fish.
  • My father used to say – ryba lubi pływać – which translates as – “Fish likes to  swim”  -this means – “You have to have a drink when eating fish” or  “You have to eat some fish when having a drink (of alcohol).”
  • If one gets an invitation  –  na rybkę (for a little fish)  – it means  – “come over for a drink (and some fish).
  • A third one translates as  – “Fish, to taste right, must swim three times – in water, in butter and in wine”.
  • *
  • Pulpety are usually little “meat” balls – cooked by simmering in stock. 
  • Here they have been made with cooked white fish.
  • They can be served with sauces or dips or served in soups.

Ingredients

  • 150g cooked white fish
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 30g white breadcrumbs – moistened with a little water or stock if available
  • 1 tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of  plain flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • *
  • Plain flour for shaping balls

Method

  • Mix fish, onion and bread together using a mincer or mini chopper.
  • Add eggs, dried breadcrumbs, flour and salt & pepper.
  • Make small balls using flour to coat.
  • Boil in salted water or vegetable stock.

Option

  • Fry the chopped onion in a little butter first.
  • Served alone –  add your favourite sauces or dip.
  • Served in a light “green” vegetable soup.

 

Herring Salads

Salted herrings are very, very popular in Poland, they have been a staple in Northern Europe since Medieval times as this was the way to preserve and transport fish – usually in barrels.

Śledź is the Polish word for herring.

Matjes herrings (matjasy in Polish) are young herrings which are caught throughout May and June before they start spawning in July.

The way that they are prepared originated in The Netherlands and the name comes from the Dutch word maagd which means maiden(because they are young fish).

Often you will see the phrase à la matjas – this means that they are in the style of the matjes herring but they will be a slighty older fish and not as expensive .

Salted herrings need to be soaked, often for up to 24 hours, in water to remove some of the salt.

I have used already prepared à la matjas herrings and I think they are still too salty – so I take the fillets out of the oil they are packed in and put them in milk for 10 to 15 minutes (you can do longer) and then pat them dry and slice them.

 

These herring salads are often served as an hors d’oeuvre (zakąska in Polish – something to bite after), appetizer, entrée or starter.

They are usually one of the dishes served at Wigilia (Christmas Eve).

Thinly sliced onions are a must to serve with the herrings!

Simple Herrings 1

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herrings
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • A little lemon juice

Simple Herrings 2

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herrings,
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Chopped gherkins (ogórki).
  • A little liquor from the gherkin jar

Simple Herrings 3

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herrings,
  • Thinly sliced onion and
  • Sliced (red skinned) apple
  • A little lemon juice

Herring Salads

The dressings used are: lemon juice, mayonnaise (full fat is best here), soured cream and horseradish – on their own or as a mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have not given quantities – exact amounts are not critical.

Herring & Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions,
  • Chopped (red skinned) apples
  • Dressing

Herring & Potato Salads

The following salads are variations on  classic Polish potato salads.

Herring, Potato & Gherkin

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Cold boiled or steamed,chopped potato,
  • Chopped gherkins
  • Dressing

 

Herring, Potato, Gherkin & Hard-boiled Eggs

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Cold boiled or steamed,chopped potato,
  • Chopped gherkins
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Dressing

 

Herring, Potato & Peas

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Cold boiled or steamed, chopped potato,
  • Cooked peas
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Dressing

Herring, Potato, Peas & Hard-boiled Eggs

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Cold boiled or steamed, chopped potato,
  • Cooked peas and dressing
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Dressing

Herring, Apple, Bean & Hard-boiled Eggs

When I first saw this recipe I was not sure how the beans would go with the rest of the ingredients.  Having tried it,  I think the taste combination is wonderful!

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced herring
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Chopped (red skinned) apples
  • Haricot beans  – tinned beans  with the tomato sauce washed off , rinsed and patted dry
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Dressing

Chopped parsley & chives

All of the salads can have chopped flat-leafed parsley and/or chives sprinkled on top.

 

Updated April 2020