Bowl of Fish rassol'nik
(click to enlarge)

Fish Rassol'nik Soup
Russia
  -   Ryba Rassol'nik
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
9 cups  
***
1 hr  
Yes

Sour soups of this type are very popular in Russia, made with Fish, Kidneys, Sausages or Mushrooms, etc. They are delicious, easy to make, and this one has plenty of vegetables. See also Comments).




4
1-1/4
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9
4
12
4
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8
4
1/4
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4
2
2
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1
2
ar
1/3
c
#
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oz
oz
oz
oz
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oz
oz
c
---
oz
T
T
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T


t
Fish Stock (1)
Fish Fillet (2)
-- Vegies mix
Onions
Carrots
Leeks (3)
Celery
------------
Potatoes (4)
Dill Pickles (5)
Pickle Juice
-- Herbs mix
Sorrel (6)
Parsley
Dill
------------
Olive Oil
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper

Do-Ahead   -   (1 hr)
  1. Filet your FISH and make the FISH STOCK if you don't already have it.
Prep   -   (50 min)
  1. Cut FISH into bite size pieces.
  2. Quarter ONIONS lengthwise and slice thin crosswise.
  3. Cut CARROTS into matchsticks about 1-1/4 inches long. Add to Onions.
  4. Chop LEEKS fine - white and light green parts only. Add to Onions.
  5. Chop CELERY fine, including leaves. Add to Onions.
  6. Peel POTATOES and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Hold in cold water until needed.
  7. Chop PICKLES fine. Mix with Pickle Juice.
  8. Chop SORREL, PARSLEY and DILL fine. Mix.
Run   -   (45 min)
  1. In a 3 quart or larger sauce pan, heat Olive Oil. Stir in Onion mix and fry stirring over moderate heat until onions are translucent, but not browned.
  2. Stir in Fish Stock, Bay Leaves and drained Potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in Pickle Mix. Continue to simmer until Potatoes are done, another 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in Herb Mix, Fish and Pepper. Bring back to a boil and simmer about 7 minutes.
  5. Check for seasoning. How much Salt you may need depends on the saltiness of your Pickles.
  6. Serve hot.
NOTES:
  1. Fish Stock:   It is always best to buy your fish whole (the only way you can be sure you're getting the kind of fish you're paying for), and the heads, fins, bones, and sometimes skins can be used to make excellent fish stock. You can have the fish man scale and clean the fish (done free in all the Asian markets here in Southern California). For details see our recipe Making Fish Stock.
  2. Fish:   The pattern recipe calls for 1/2 pound Cod or Haddock or thick white fish, and 1/2 pound Sea-bass, Plaice or non-oily fish of choice. None of the named fish are common here in Southern California. The fish you choose should be ones that hold up well in wet cooking. The photo example was done with tow of my favorites, Golden Pompano and Japanese Amberjack. I have made it with Catfish and Tilapia because that's what I had on hand. Yes, they have those in Russia.
  3. Leeks:   Weight given is for whole leafy Leeks. You will use only the white and light green parts, totaling about 4 ounces. Use the greens for soup stock or whatever.
  4. Potatoes:   White Rose or similar work well in recipes of this sort. Avoid Klondike Gold type potatoes - they quickly turn to mush with long cooking. For details see our Potatoes page.
  5. Pickles:   These should be fairly sour Dill Pickles, as they are supposed to sour the soup. They should not be stirred in until the Potatoes are partially cooked as acid hardens potatoes.
  6. Sorrel:   Weight is for leaves only, no stems. Float wash. Spinach could be used instead, and is much easier to find here in Southern California. If using Spinach, select a bunch with adult leaves, baby spinach has insufficient flavor.
  7. Comments:   My build is a bit different from the pattern recipe, as I so often serve buffet style. She poached the fish in the Fish Stock as the first step, removing it when done. She served by placing pieces of fish in individual bowls and ladling some of the soup over. She also cooked the potatoes separately (didn't say what kind), and thickened the soup with a roux made of 1 T Butter and 1 T Flour. I feel these steps are redundant. In the usual English style, she called out all vegetables except potatoes by number of pieces with no indication of size, so the weights given here are my best estimates.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove, in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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