Cheap Fish Soups


An infinite variety of excellent soaps may be made of fish, which may be stewed down for them in precisely the same manner as meat, and with the same addition of vegetables and herbs. When the skin is coarse or rank it should be carefully stripped off before the fish is used; and any oily particles which may float on the surface should be entirely removed from it.

In France, Jersey, Cornwall, and many other localities, the conger eel, divested of its skin, is sliced up into thick cutlets and made into soup, which we are assured by English families who have it often served at their tables, is extremely good. A half-grown fish is best for the purpose. After the soup has been strained and allowed to settle, it must be heated afresh, and rice and minced parsley may be added to it as for the turkey soup; or it may be thickened with rice-flour only, or served clear. Curried fish-soups, too, are much to be recommended.

When broth or stock has been made as above with conger eel, common eels, whitings, haddocks, codlings, fresh water fish, or any common kind, which may be at hand, flakes of cold salmon, cod fish, John Dories, or scallops of cold soles, plaice,* &c., may be heated and served in it; and the remains of crabs or lobsters mingled with them. The large oysters sold at so cheap a rate upon the coast, and which are not much esteemed for eating raw, serve admirably for imparting flavour to soup, and the softer portions of them may be served in it after a few minutes of gentle simmering. Anchovy or any other store fish-sauce may be added with good effect to many of these pottages if used with moderation. Prawns and shrimps likewise would generally be considered an improvement to them.

For more savoury preparations, fry the fish and vegetables, lay them into the soup-pot, and add boiling, instead of cold water to them.

* Cold vegatables, cut up small, may be added with these at pleasure.