Friday, December 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Smoked fish lends big flavor to a light soup

Food Healthy Fish Soup

This Feb. 10, 2014, photo shows hearty potato, cabbage and smoked fish soup in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

By
From page B6 | March 05, 2014 |

With St. Patrick’s Day nearly upon us, our minds often turn to corned beef and cabbage. This recipe was inspired by that tradition, but swaps out the corned beef in favor of smoked fish (also incredibly popular in Ireland) in a richly satisfying savory broth.

Smoked fish happens to be one of my favorite “cheating” ingredients. Like bacon, it is a single ingredient that adds outsized oomph to any dish. Unlike bacon, smoked fish has no saturated fat. Add even a little bit of it and suddenly the dish becomes the essence of comfort food and your guests think you’re a culinary genius.

In Ireland, they like to smoke mackerel, whitefish, salmon and haddock. Smoked haddock actually originates in Scotland, not Ireland, but the Irish have pulled it into the family circle. Me, too. As the child of New Englanders, I grew up with it, which is probably why it’s my favorite smoked fish.

My cabbage of choice here is either Napa or savoy. Both are relatively light with a delicate texture. Of course, regular green cabbage also works, as will red cabbage (assuming you don’t mind a pink soup), but you want to be careful not to overcook whichever cabbage is in the pot. Otherwise, things tend to get very funky very quickly.

Now on to the potatoes and the leeks. Easy and cheap to grow, high in minerals and vitamins, and delicious no matter how they’re cooked, potatoes have been a staple in Ireland for hundreds of years. In this recipe, the potatoes absorb the smokiness of the fish and also provide bulk. The leeks add a distinct and subtle flavor all their own, but you can swap in onions – the leek’s ubiquitous cousin – if you have trouble finding leeks.

The liquid is a combination of low-fat milk and chicken stock. Why use chicken stock in a fish soup? Because I’ve never found a commercial fish stock to my taste. Likewise, I’m no fan of commercial clam juices, which are too high in sodium. In any case, the liquid required some kind of stock because those soups made only with dairy are too rich for me. Then again, I don’t like a soup that’s too thin either, which is why this one is thickened into creaminess the old-fashioned way – with just a touch of flour.

In the end all of the ingredients come together beautifully, if I do say so myself. Add a tossed green salad and a pint of Guinness, and you can call it a meal.

HEARTY POTATO, CABBAGE AND SMOKED FISH SOUP

Start to finish: 50 minutes (25 minutes active)

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large leek, white and green parts, medium chopped (about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

2 cups 1 percent milk

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 cups shredded Napa or savoy cabbage

½ pound smoked fish fillets (trout, whitefish, haddock or mackerel), skin discarded, fish coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Thinly sliced scallions, to garnish

Smoked paprika, to garnish

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until very soft but not colored, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the broth in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil.

Add the potatoes, milk and thyme, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and simmer until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the fish and lemon juice and cook just until the fish is heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with scallions and a sprinkle of paprika.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 100 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 70 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 26 g protein; 380 mg sodium.

Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Get your blues on – for a musical cause

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Area churches bring joy, toys to children

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Rear ends, reunions define 2014 in music

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Santa spreads Christmas cheer at Bridge to Life

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Word of Mouth ready to ring in 2015 at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Solano’s 2014 art scene: A year in review

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Dec. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Mother uses grief to help murder victims’ families

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
San Francisco creates court only for veterans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

California plane crash victims were father and son

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Man shot with stun gun dies at border crossing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

California officials issue caramel apple warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Christmas brings California cooler weather, gusty winds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Audit highlights state employee wrongdoing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
US traveler released from East Timor jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Obama personal chef to hang up apron after 6 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
More protests sparked after shooting near Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 17 Comments

Nevada goats help eat, recycle Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Hundreds of theaters begin screening ‘The Interview’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Streaming release of ‘Interview’ test for industry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Monkey gives first aid to electrocuted friend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Militants attack AU Somalia base, at least 5 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments | Gallery

Police and fire officials save California family’s Christmas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community calendar: Dec. 26, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 26, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Sister’s angry outbursts may be a medical issue

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in Preview Dec. 26, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2015

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B1

 
‘Frozen’ is named top entertainer of the year by AP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

Warsaw’s lost architecture portrayed in miniature

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Review: ‘Unbroken’ is beautiful, but impersonal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Angelina Jolie’s latest incarnation: filmmaker

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

James hears plenty of cheers in return to Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
2014 sports quirks: In year of odd bounces, reality bites at World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Colin Kaepernick weighing his offseason approach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Arians reportedly to go back to Lindley as starter

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Former TE Ben Utecht delivers musical message

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

K-State’s Snyder still penning old-school notes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Fresno State pushed around in in Hawaii Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Eagles have quarterback questions going into 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
New OT rule in minor-league hockey generating buzz

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

To reduce elitism, British horse racing educating spectators

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Bad news for Balotelli as Liverpool alters system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

LeBron James, Steph Curry lead NBA All-Star voting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Former NBA All-Star Marbury fan favorite in China

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Signups for Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
D-I’s youngest coach also has inexperienced team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

No. 17 Wisconsin hopes program back on steady ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Rookie Martin makes quick impression in Dallas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

 
Bad Santa? 5 tips to tackle your holiday gift returns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Thomas A. O’Neill

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9