First, let me tell you that I am not a great cook. Not even sure I could rise to the level of good cook without a really tall ladder and some intense concentration. But that doesn’t stop me from cooking. Or trying to share my recipes.
If you’re a good cook, I have no doubt you will be able to take this as a basic road map, and make it even better. But for anyone out there who enjoys simple, healthy, easy-to-make meals, you might want to give this fish soup a try!
Photo Note: This is a picture of fish soup. It’s just not my fish soup. The broth will be far lighter and the kale abundant.
My Non-Recipe for Cod & Kale Soup
Uh…I guess I should also warn you that I don’t really have exact measures or times for anything. But this is pretty close. (Told you it was a non-recipe.)
I use about one pound of cod, two stalks of celery, two medium-sized carrots, one medium onion, two cloves garlic, about 7 or 8 large kale leaves (cut into smaller pieces), and some spices, depending on my mood. My most recent preferred spices are curry, red and black pepper, oregano (yes, really … but you don’t have to), sweet basil (a little more than the oregano to balance) and some fresh parsley.
Note about salt: While I try not to add extra salt to things, if and when I do use a little salt, I use iodized sea salt or kosher salt. My guess is you’ll want some salt.
And now…an almost recipe: Put all the ingredients in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan (this is the simple part), add enough water to just about cover the ingredients, and then simmer slowly for about 45 minutes, allowing a little steam to escape so that the broth cooks down by about 1/3. Then, turn off the stove, cover, and let it sit for about half an hour, so all the flavors have a chance to set nicely. At this point it should be ready.
Now you may be thinking “But the cod won’t be tender after all that cooking.” You’re right. You’re so very very right. If you do it this way, it winds up having…to put it nicely…a hearty texture for sure (ok..it gets kinda tough), perhaps one of the reasons I add heartier spices to the soup. But I’m a big fan of don’t-even-think-about-it, one-pot recipes, so if you are as lazy as I am and ok with this chewier texture, then you can stop at this point. And I’ve fulfilled my promise for an especially easy-to-make recipe.
OK … I think this will help: If like most people, you prefer your fish more tender: (1) simply start the soup by adding a little bit of the fish (about an inch or so cut into very small pieces) to the rest of the ingredients, so that all flavors can mingle, and then add the rest of the fish to the pot for the last 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness; or (2) just add the entire piece of fish to the pot after about 30 minutes and continue to simmer for about the last 10-15 minutes; or (3) cut the remaining cod into small chunks and add in the last 5 minutes. And then, remember to cover and let it sit. You can add some cooked rice to the individual soup bowls before adding the soup, or serve with a hearty sourdough or French bread. Even better the next day.
That’s it. A non-recipe from a non-cook for my happy, healthy, low-calorie, easy-to-make cod and kale soup. You’ve been warned.
And once again, since it’s a non-recipe and odds are you are a far better cook than I am, do be sure to follow my instructions VERY loosely, coming up with your own variations on the basics. And should you go ahead and actually make this, please feel free to let me know how it turns out – and what you did to make it your own!
Photo Credit: From Wikimedia Commons, by Sakurai Midori