Never underestimate the power of simplicity, or in this case, the TASTE of simplicity! This soup is light, simple and so easy to prepare. This simple fish soup contains the most basic ingredients: fish, onion, garlic, parsley and dill.
My dad is great at preparing this soup because he has a secret ingredient. It is really just an amazing discovery and he loves to share it with everybody. This ingredient is salt pork! However, it is not just regular salt pork. After purchasing salt pork at a local grocery store, he continues to cure the pork in salt, keeping it wrapped in a paper towel; his salted pork is aged up to a year!
He says the aged pork is a key factor in the absorption of any undesired fish aroma. However, if this is not attainable, he suggests adding more dill and parsley as a mask for any strong fish aroma.
My dad makes this soup very frequently and we love it every time he makes it. One evening he told us how he came across this recipe and we couldn’t believe it..
When my dad was young, he would go fishing frequently during the summer. In the large Dnieper River in Ukraine, Nick and his friends would fish for hours. Hours on the river would ultimately result in some growling stomachs! So, what do you do in Ukraine during the 70’s when you’re hungry after a day of fishing? Let me give you a hint: it’s doesn’t involve making a run to McDonald’s! Rather, you pitch a tent, make a bonfire, and start cooking fish soup with your catch!
I couldn’t believe it at first, but my dad mentioned how he first heard this recipe when he was a young kid. His neighbor had mentioned the super simple recipe to dad’s parents one day, while chatting. My dad happened to overhear the conversation and for some reason, the recipe stuck to my dad’s mind like glue. He began making the soup on his fishing trips and loved it! To this day, he still cooks his fish soup exactly the way the neighbor had described. It’s truly a recipe that goes down in time. A fisherman’s treat, indeed!
The reason why this recipe was so embraced by many fisherman in Ukraine is because of it’s simplicity. It did not require much preparation. A fisherman would prepare a jar of ingredients that would go into this soup. The ingredients would include chopped onions, minced garlic, salt, parsley and dill, along with a slice of salted pork. All these ingredients would be placed in a jar before departure along with a camping pot. This soup simplified their trip and provided fisherman with a delicious meal at the end! No microwave required, just a bon fire with your favorite circle of friends!
- 4 quarts water
- 1 lb fish: white fish, cod or tilapia, cut into squares
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 head of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 -1 tablespoon salt
- Pepper (as desired)
- Small slab of salted pork
- Boil 4 quarts water in large pot. Add fish and allow to boil for 1/2 hour on low setting, covered.
- Add onions, garlic, dill, parsley salt, pepper to soup. Remove from heat.
- If adding salt pork, allow for it to remain in soup for 15 minutes.