Salmon Cream Soup

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Salmon Cream Soup

I buy lots of salmon, and for good reason. It’s affordable, healthy, and tasty. Salmon is one of the best selling fish on the market and it is primarily because of the recent surge in demand for high quality salmon for use in sushi and sashimi. However this salmon cream soup is a fantastic way to make use of all the leftover salmon you have after butchering a fish. I tend to buy salmon whole and make quite a few different dishes with it; things like my Salmon En Croute or my Salmon Mousse Tartlets.

The issue then becomes what to do with the head and spine and other less serving pretty parts of the fish. The solution, my delicious salmon cream soup which makes sure no part of the fish goes to waste.

Whenever I butcher a whole salmon I have a large bag in the freezer for all the inedible scraps. Things like the head, fins, bones, and the like. Whatever scrap is left doesn’t get thrown out, it gets added to the bag. When the bag has enough to fill a pot, it’s salmon cream soup time.

I then fill the pot with water, add a couple halved onions and cook on a low flame for about 3 hours. This is the perfect meal to just set it and forget it. It especially works well as a classy winter soup if you are having guests over. I make sure to skim off the foam that rises, checking on the pot every hour and a half or so until the salmon begins to disintegrate a bit. I then strain the meat from the liquid and pull off all the last bits of good meat I can making sure to use absolutely all of these tasty morsels.

Back in the pot the meat goes, along with the onions. Then I add some fire roasted red bell peppers, chives and seasonings, and bring to a boil. I use an immersion/stick blender to blend everything up as best as possible, then run the entire pot through a fine mesh sieve. When you end up with is almost a clear soup with a strong fish flavor. What is in the sieve is a very fine fish paste. I add about a tablespoon or two of the fish paste back to the soup, whisk it up with some heavy cream, and serve garnished with some pea sprouts, green onion, and a drizzle of dill oil.

If this seems like an over-complicated recipe, it is. However, you are basically just using leftover scraps with some cheap vegetables, so this salmon cream soup is a very classy delicious soup for near free. A good way to impress guests if I say so myself.

Salmon Cream Soup

Salmon Cream Soup Ingredients

500 grams Salmon; I would not recommend buying nice pre-packaged fillets and instead opt for your leftover scraps. Some nicer markets will sell you salmon scraps if you ask, and some display them prominently for cheap. While I buy my salmon whole and butcher it myself, my fish monger also sells scraps (meant for cats I assume) at about 50 cents a kilo. You really just want the heads and spine since that’s where most of the flavor for the stock will come from.

2 Yellow Onion; sliced in half.

1 Bell Pepper. I used the 4 tops of the bell peppers left over from when I made my Stuffed Bell Peppers, but you can always just use one whole pepper. This gives it a great charred flavor and balances well with the fattiness of the fish.

4 Chives; chopped

150 ml Heavy Cream. You can use more or less depending on how creamy you want the soup. I wanted the cream to thicken it up, but not to overpower the flavor of the soup.

1 tsp Dill Oil. This is just Olive oil infused with dill which of course imparts a great flavor to salmon. I make my own using a 10:1 ratio of olive oil to fresh dill. I let it sit for 1 month before using it.

Salt and Pepper; to taste

Pea Sprouts; for garnish.

Salmon Cream Soup Instructions

1. In a large pot add your salmon scraps (yes heads and spines and stuff), onion, and fill with water. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for about 2 hour. As it is boiling, check it ever 20 minutes or so to scrape off the foam that rises to the top.

2. After 2 hours the soup should be an orange-brown color. strain the contents of the pot. Save all the liquid in one bowl, and dump the scraps on a large cutting board or plate. Pick at the scraps by hand to remove any last good bits of meat.

Boiling Salmon Scraps for the soup
Lots of good meat left.

3. Place the liquid and the salvaged meat into another clean pot (I used my trusty Emile Henry dutch oven) and slowly bring up to heat. While this is going you can fire roast your red peppers for a few minutes to get them a nice char.

4. Add the bell pepper to the soup along with the chives, then blend everything together with a stick blender. Don’t worry if it doesn’t get completely smooth, just blend as best you can. I put the immersion blender directly into the pot and just let it do its thing for a few minutes. Then add the heavy cream and stir it up. Season to taste.

Salmon Cream Soup

5. Pour the contents of the pot into another bowl through a fine mesh sieve so only a cloudy-clear soup makes it into the bowl. You will be left with a fish paste in the sieve which is where a lot of the flavor is. You should reincorporate at least a tablespoon of this paste into the soup if you want. It will make it a bit thicker, but also gives a more robust color and taste.

Salmon Cream Soup Paste

6. Place the soup in a bowl, drizzle with dill oil, and garnish with some pea sprouts and chopped green onion.

Salmon Cream Soup

Notes

You can decide how much of the paste you want to re-add to the soup. Just note that the reason the sieve took out the paste was because with was not liquid, so adding it back in can add a bit of graininess or texture. This is okay in my opinion for the flavor it adds, but it is entirely up to you.

The dill oil is optional, and you can just use regular olive oil if you want. However if you are looking for a good project, making your own dill oil is great not just in this soup, but most seafood (and potato) dishes. My Dill Potatoes With Pork Belly would greatly benefit from a bit of dill oil as well.

What Do You Think Of This Recipe? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below

Salmon Cream Soup Recipe

Salmon Cream Soup

A delicious Salmon cream soup perfect for impressing guests at your next dinner party. Making use out of salmon scraps brings a ton of flavor to this soup.
Course Soup
Cuisine European
Keyword Salmon Cream Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Salmon scraps, like the head and spine
  • 2 Yellow Onion halved
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 150 ml Heavy Cream
  • 4 Chives chopped
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil or Dill Oil if you have/make it
  • 1 pinch Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch Pepper to taste
  • Pea Sprouts for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large pot add your salmon scraps (yes heads and spines and stuff), onion, and fill with water. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for about 2 hour. As it is boiling, check it ever 20 minutes or so to scrape off the foam that rises to the top.
  • After 2 hours the soup should be an orange-brown color. strain the contents of the pot. Save all the liquid in one bowl, and dump the scraps on a large cutting board or plate. Pick at the scraps by hand to remove any last good bits of meat.
  • Place the liquid and the salvaged meat into another clean pot (I used my trusty Emile Henry dutch oven) and slowly bring up to heat. While this is going you can fire roast your red peppers for a few minutes to get them a nice char.
  • Add the bell pepper to the soup along with the chives, then blend everything together with a stick blender. Don't worry if it doesn't get completely smooth, just blend as best you can. I put the immersion blender directly into the pot and just let it do its thing for a few minutes. Then add the heavy cream and stir it up. Season to taste.
  • Pour the contents of the pot into another bowl through a fine mesh sieve so only a cloudy-clear soup makes it into the bowl. You will be left with a fish paste in the sieve which is where a lot of the flavor is. You should reincorporate at least a tablespoon of this paste into the soup if you want. It will make it a bit thicker, but also gives a more robust color and taste.
  • Place the soup in a bowl, drizzle with dill oil, and garnish with some pea sprouts and chopped green onion.

Notes

You can decide how much of the paste you want to re-add to the soup. Just note that the reason the sieve took out the paste was because with was not liquid, so adding it back in can add a bit of graininess or texture. This is okay in my opinion for the flavor it adds, but it is entirely up to you.
The dill oil is optional, and you can just use regular olive oil if you want. However if you are looking for a good project, making your own dill oil is great not just in this soup, but most seafood (and potato) dishes. My Dill Potatoes With Pork Belly would greatly benefit from a bit of dill oil as well.
 
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