Fish and Seafood are rare in Swabian cuisine because Southern Germany is landlocked. The most commonly eaten fish is rainbow trout which can be caught in small rivers. Of course, nowadays, it’s hard to get your hands on wild-caught trout. Most of it is produced on fish farms.
Smoked fish and meat products are very popular in Southern Germany because smoke is a great preservative and improves the taste. Smoked trout might not be as delicate as fresh trout but it still has a very lovely flavor.
It’s common to eat smoked fish on top of a slice of bread or as part of a salad. Today’s recipe is a smoked trout soup, which I do love to serve as a light appetizer.
How to prepare smoked trout soup
It’s very simple to prepare this soup. The most important thing is that you buy a whole smoked trout so that you can use the carcass to cook a flavorful fish broth. Fish broth is more delicate than beef broth so that you will have to use different aromatics. I like fennel, spring onions, carrots, and ginger.
Don’t let the broth simmer for longer than half an hour and always keep the heat on the lowest setting. You don’t want the broth to turn bitter and unpleasantly fishy.
Once your broth is ready, you can strain out all the solids and add your grated potato. Cook it for 10 minutes so that it will release some of its starch and thicken the soup ever so slightly. Then it’s time to add the cream and blend the soup. Blend it vigorously to aerate it. It should be super light.
Season it lightly with salt and lemon juice and serve instantly with the smoked trout meat. The soup should ideally still have air bubbles on top when you serve it. It should be light, creamy, and delicate.
Smoked Trout Soup (‘Geräucherte Forellenschaumsuppe’)
- 1 smoked trout, about 10 ounces (285 g)
- 3 spring onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cut into small cubes
- 1 medium-sized carrot, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1-inch knob of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 clove
- 5 allspice berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1 medium-sized starchy potato, grated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- lemon juice, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Using your hands, slide the skin off the smoked trout and set it aside. Carefully remove the fillets and tear the flesh apart into bite-sized pieces. Set the flesh aside and put the fish trimmings and skin inside a medium-sized pot. Add the spring onions, fennel, carrot, ginger, clove, allspice berries, and bay leaf. Cover with 4 cups of water and bring it to a light simmer. On the lowest possible heat setting, let the fish broth gently simmer uncovered for half an hour. Strain out the broth ingredients by passing your broth through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Add the grated potato into your strained broth and let it lightly simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the heavy cream and puree the soup using a blender. It’s best to use a stick blender for this task so that the soup gets well aerated. The surface of the soup should be covered with plenty of small air bubbles. Season the soup to taste with lemon juice and salt.
- For serving, divide the pieces of trout flesh evenly among four serving bowls and ladle the hot soup on top.