Halibut and Saffron Soup ~ wine, saffron, lemon, dill and fish come together to make an unusual and fabulous Scandinavian soup!
Saffron is such an interesting ingredient, but so hard to describe. I wish I was one of those people who can take a sip of wine and come up with ‘mossy’ or ‘muscular’ right off the bat, but I’m not. The flavor and aroma of saffron is wonderful, but I’m at a loss to describe it. It’s officially said to have a slightly bitter, ‘hay-like’ flavor, which doesn’t really do it justice, but I can’t give you an alternative. It’s one of those times where words aren’t relevant. I love that.
It’s no secret that I love fish, and chowders and soups are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it. This recipe is a version of a classic Scandinavian soup. It has a base of wine, stock and cream and a generous amount of saffron to give it a distinctive flavor as well as color. I accented mine with dill.
I came across baby parsnips at the market yesterday, so they went into the soup, along with leeks, onion, and fennel. The pale vegetables provide flavor, texture, and a neutral base for the color of the saffron to shine through.
This soup isn’t thick and heavy like a chowder, but the cream gives it substance. It’s the perfect late summer early fall dish. I would have served this soup with Buckwheat Biscuits, but I was out of buckwheat flour, so I made plain biscuits. Crusty bread would be great as well.
I highly recommend this soup, and I’m definitely going to do more experimenting with fish and saffron. Salmon would work here as well, and you can vary the vegetables. This is a winner in my book, I hope you try it.
Recipe adapted from Island Menu