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Hamburg Fish Soup

Yield 11 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and about 1 tablespoon shrimp)
This hearty fish soup came from a street fair in Hamburg. The juniper berries give it an herbal sweetness that is distinctively German. The shrimp are the tiny North Sea variety that are available here in cans.


  • 2 (1 1/2-pound) whole flounder, cleaned
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leek (2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups diced peeled red potatoes
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup Riesling or other dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 (7-ounce) can tiny peeled shrimp, drained
  • Slivered leek (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 114
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • fat 4.3 g
  • satfat 0.8 g
  • monofat 1.2 g
  • polyfat 2 g
  • protein 6.3 g
  • carbohydrate 12.4 g
  • fiber 1.6 g
  • cholesterol 22 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 274 mg
  • calcium 35 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut flounder into fillets, reserving bones. Remove skin from fillets, and discard. Cut fillets into 2-inch pieces, and cover and chill.

  2. Combine fish bones, water, peppercorns, dill, and 1 cup parsley in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain mixture in a sieve over a bowl, reserving stock. Discard solids.

  3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add sliced leek and onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle flour over leek mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add reserved stock, stirring until well-blended. Add potatoes and next 5 ingredients (potatoes through bay leaves); cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add fish, wine, 1/4 cup parsley, vinegar, and mustard; cook over low heat 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Discard bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls; top with shrimp,and garnish with slivered leek, if desired.

  4. Note: Juniper berries can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets. Your fish monger will be happy to fillet the flounder for you.