Improv Fish Soup For Year's End

I'm listening to the BBC's absolutely brilliant adaptation of Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising." Now caught up to the Christmas Eve episode, I was inspired to make soup while listening to Will take on his role as an "Old One."

Since I believe good soup is basically an improv exercise, I can only say that the basis of this one was the "Fisksoppa" published on the National Nordic Museum's website. Feel free to visit that recipe to find out where I started. Put on your favorite audiobook, chop those veggies, and enjoy a quiet winter evening.

Improv Fish Soup

Set the oven to 300 degrees and pull out an oven safe large pot. I have a huge Corning Ware pot with a glass lid that I use. I can, and do, leave it in the oven for hours. Generally when making soup, I start around 3pm and pull it out of the oven around 6pm or, if the book is interesting, 7pm. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. If you'd rather simmer and stir on the stove top, use the directions for Fisksoppa.

Christmas Eve Ingredients or What I Found in the Freezer or Fridge

Half yellow onion
Two cups of chopped celery, carrots, and potatoes
Half cup of frozen roasted brussel sprouts leftover from Thanksgiving

6 cups of vegetable broth (1 box)
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of sherry from the mystery bottle of sherry (how this ended up in my kitchen is a mystery as I don’t drink sherry, but there it was)
1 cup tomato marinara sauce (because I never have canned tomato but usually keep a jar of marinara sauce for pasta nights)

1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme

Handful of fresh parsley finely chopped to honor the only plant that survived the big freeze on my balcony

Salted to taste with Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning

After all of the above had cooked for about an hour, I added
1/2 pound of cooked frozen shrimp
4 ounces of smoked salmon

The whole pot then cooked for another two hours. It all tasted fantastic according to my official taste tester several hours later. While we both had two bowls each, I still have a lot of soup leftover for future lunches.
Two bowls of soup on a table with a plate of bread next to soup


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