During my recent trip to Iceland, I warmed up with the traditional meat soup on several occasions. Simple, flavorful, and comforting, it was just the thing for a chilly afternoon. Recreating that cozy soup is one of my goals for the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are several Scandinavian soup recipes that will warm you up on the coldest autumn evenings.
Norwegian Bacalao Stew with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Onion
Salt cod bathed in rich tomato broth and nestled amongst broken tomatoes and chunks of potatoes might be just the perfect light dish for a cozy autumn evening. It’s not too heavy, and is great with crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth. Recipe.
Swedish Sailor’s Stew (Sjömansbiff)
The dish is the sort that fills you up and leaves you extremely satisfied. Sjömansbiff is a hearty Swedish stew made with beef, onions, and potatoes that have nearly melted into themselves. Served with some punchy condiments like pickled beets and whole-grain mustard, it’s a great mix of flavors and colors, and perfect for winter. It will warm you up on even the coldest of days and is the sort of fare that I can imagine sustaining and nourishing countless Nordic sailors through grueling days battered by frozen winds. Recipe.
Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter and Cardamom
Blomkålsuppe is a classic throughout the Scandinavian countries, and this one is as flavorful as it’s cozy. Flecks of spice dot the soup, a whisper of the flavor infused in each bite. But rather than dominating the soup, the spices are subtle and nuanced, lending a gentle warmth to a classic, comforting dish. Recipe.
Bergen Fish Soup (Bergensk Fiskesuppe)
Bergen fish soup is one of the best fish soups in the world, right up there with bouillabaisse, according to chef Andreas Viestad. Some say the absolute proper way to make it, Viestad writes Kitchen of Light, is to purchase live pollock at the fish market–which is one of the biggest and best-known outdoor fish markets in northern Europe–and make the stock the same day.
As with most classic dishes, the recipes and styles vary. One cook might choose to use only white fish while another might add salmon or perhaps scallops and prawns. Some add dumplings while others omit them. One person might ladle thick, chowder-like portions into bowls while a neighbor makes it on the lighter side with the seafood surrounded by a creamy broth. No matter the style, the soup allows the flavor of the seafood to shine, proving that a handful of quality ingredients simply prepared can go a long way. Recipe.