Irish Fish Soup

1 slice of bacon (Uncured, non-smoked, sugar free, dry rubbed, Garrett Valley Farms) cut into lardoons.
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced into coins
½ shallot
1 medium onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp. ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, (with butter is a roux)
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, diced (about 12 oz.)
1 pound boneless, skinless cod filets, cut into 1” pieces
Several slices of smoked salmon (lox)
½ cup heavy whipping cream

I can’t speak enough about Garrett Valley Farms bacon. Firstly it is non-smoked. Secondly, no antibiotics, no sugar, less salt and humanely raised. It is great to cook with a non-smoked bacon. Often I have to tone down the smoked bacon by leaving it in hot water for a brief period. However, in this dish I will use smoked salmon.

Add bacon to the pot and render all the fat and removed the cooked bacon. Sauté the veggies in the butter. Add the flour. Add 1 cup of wine and stir into a paste. Add another cup of chicken broth and stir into a gravy. Add some salt and pepper. Add the potatoes. Cook 20 minutes on medium low.

Add the lox and cod. Add the cream. Add another cup of broth as needed. Cover. Cook ten minutes on medium low. Adjust seasonings, keep covered, turn off heat. Let rest at least 10 minutes with cover on. Serve.

Chicken Soup with Pasta


4 chicken thighs with bone and skin (Cut two equal slices perpendicular to the bone, all the way to the bone) This makes it easier to remove from the bone and also cooks the chicken faster.
3 carrots chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
1 onion chopped
3 scallions chopped
1 garlic clove pressed
12 ultra large pasta shells (or egg noodles or elbow macaroni)
4 TBSP butter
1 TBSP peppercorns wrapped in cheese cloth
3 cups water
1 ½ cups white wine
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ tsp Tarragon
Sea Salt to taste

Sauté carrots, onions and celery in 2 TBSP of butter. Add the 1 cup wine, 1 garlic clove, peppercorns, chicken and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook 30 minutes on medium heat.

Remove the chicken and strain the soup liquid to remove the chicken fat.
Remove the sack of peppercorns.
Rinse the vegetables in hot water to remove the fat.

Return the liquid and the vegetables to the pot. Cool the chicken in cold water, remove the skin and debone the meat. Return the chicken to the broth.
Add the scallions
Add the chicken bouillon
Add salt to taste
Add the remaining 2 TBSP of butter
Add ½ cup wine
Bring to boil and then reduce to low and cook 30 minutes.

Bring water for the pasta to boil. Cook the pasta 10 minutes. (Usually cook all pasta 12 minutes but 10 minutes so it will finish cooking in the chicken broth. Add the pasta to the chicken and the Tarragon, cover and let rest.


Fish Stew


• 1 ½ tomato peeled and chopped
• 2/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
• 1/3 squeezed lemon
• 1 small chopped onion
• 1 chopped left over peeled mirliton squash
• 1 TBSP EVOO and 1 TBSP butter
• 2 pieces frozen cod
• 6 shrimp with tail shells still on
• chicken stock
• 1 cup chardonnay wine
• I didn’t add salt, pepper or garlic.

Sauté onions and squash in oil, add wine, add the fish and the chicken stock just to the top of the fish. Cook on low in a covered Dutch oven 30 minutes. Remove shrimp and peel shell off shrimp, return shrimp, add the remaining ingredients and cook covered another 15 minutes. Serve with garlic toast. The shells on the shrimp add more seafood flavor so no need for oyster sauce or some seafood stock.


Bergen Fish Soup (Bergensk fiskesuppe)

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 ½ cups fish stock (I used 1 ½ TBSPs of dried hon dashi for 2 cups of water)
2 skinny carrots, sliced to 1 inch and them quartered
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly diced
1 leek, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup Blue Moon wheat beer
1 cup heavy cream
1 frozen salmon fillet 4” x 4”
6 frozen shrimp, with shells
1 frozen cod fillet, 4” x 4”
8 ounces clams, with shells
3 TBSPs olive/butter

Cut leek ends and leave 1 inch green stalk. Slice it in half long ways then cross cut. Put in a bowl of water and gently rinse with your hand. Leeks come with a lot of dirt inside. Set aside in a bowl. Cut the celery and add it to the leeks. In another bowl skin and cut the potato into squares and cover in water so as not to brown the potato. During the soup process I will actually use an immersion blender to blend all these items into a fine thick puree.

In another pot add 1 ½ Tbsps. of hon dashi to 2 cups water. The recipe calls for fish stock but there is no better fish stock in my opinion than hon dashi which is Japanese dried bonito. It has a superior ocean flavor – kind of salty, kind of mellow, used in most Japanese soups.

I add the cut carrots and cut red bell pepper to the stock as well as the frozen shrimp with its shells to add more seafood flavor and cook the shrimp on medium to low heat until it turns a solid pink. Remove with a tongs and add the frozen cod to the hon dashi. Cook 5 minutes and remove. Add the salmon and cook 5 minutes and remove. Add the mussels and cook 5 minutes then remove. Then strain the stock. Set aside the carrots and red bell pepper. Peel the shells off the shrimp, cut the fish into squares.

In a large sauce pan add 3 TBSPs of butter and melt. Add the leeks and celery. Sauté on medium low heat for ~20 minutes until the leeks are very tender. Drain the potatoes and add to the pot. Add 1 ½ cups of strained fish stock. Add 1 cup of Belgium wheat beer. Add 1 cup of heavy cream. Blend with an immersion blender. Add salt to taste. Add the seafood. Cook on very low 30 minutes.


Creamy Shrimp Artichoke Soup

100_6416(click on pics to enlarge)

I have a recipe on this blog for Oyster Artichoke Soup. Because of a lack of oysters this year owing to many things to include the lingering effects of the BP Oil spill, I switched to shrimp. Oyster harvesting in the Gulf of Mexico has dropped 75% from 10 years ago. As oyster season opens this month, the oysters are too expensive and I don’t really trust them. Changing this recipe from oysters to shrimp also called for a revamp of the entire recipe to include making a shrimp stock, less leeks and less vinegar. Truthfully, I prefer this recipe better.


One of the nice things about this blog is I can place my laptop on the counter and read the recipe as I cook.  A great convenience.


Ingredients (Pictured above, click on pic to enlarge)

1 – 8 Oz. jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped in food processor
1 – 8 Oz. jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into half-inch pieces – reserve for later
1 white onion, finely chopped in food processor
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped in food processor (white part only)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped in food processor
1 large potato, peeled and finely chopped in food processor
1 celery stalk peeled and finely chopped in food processor

1 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP butter
White wine vinegar if needed

Meat, herbs, seasoning, liquids
2 cups shrimp stock
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup whipping cream
3 stalks of fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. thyme
Sea Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
1 lb. whole shrimp – cleaned (reserve heads and tail shells)

Shrimp Stock
½ of the reserved shrimp heads and tail shells
1 small yellow onion – chopped
1 celery stalk – chopped
1 carrot – peeled
3 cups water
2 garlic cloves
1 TBSP whole peppercorns
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper


In a large sauce pan add all the stock ingredients, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook 40 minutes. If the shrimp heads get too hot they will boil over and create a bitter taste. The idea here is instead of adding water or chicken stock to the dish; make a shrimp/seafood stock to backup the shrimp. Strain the stock and reserve 2 cups for cooking. This stock has a great aroma.


In a food processor add the 8 oz. artichoke, onions, celery, leek, and garlic and chop into a smooth thickness.


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. On a medium heat, add the processed vegetables and a little of the white wine. As the vegetables begin to bubble, add wine a little at a time and keep stirring the bottom. If the heat is too hot the vegetables will stick to the bottom of the sauce pan and burn.


In the food processor add the potato and process. Add the potato to the pot and start adding the shrimp stock a half cup at a time while stirring. I use a hand mixer to smooth the vegetable a little more.


Turn the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot and simmer 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes add the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, cream, reserved artichoke hearts and shrimp. Test the mixture for taste. Depending on the marinated artichokes, the marinade will have some vinegar, which is an important dimension of the soup flavor. There should be a noticeable hint, but not like a vinaigrette. If after tasting there isn’t enough vinegar back to suit your taste, add a little white wine vinegar a TBSP at a time until the desired taste occurs. Go slow. If you add too much there is no correcting the flavor.

Cover the pot and cook another 30 minutes on low.


I served this meal with freshly baked artisan bread.