It took me a while to decide what soup to make as my personal soup-entry for this blog cooking day. I wanted to do something Italian but didn't manage to get the ingredients I was looking for. So, inspired by ingredients, I decided to make a soup with a German accent, or at least an "impression" of German ingredients: a potato and horseradish cream soup with smoked trout and toasted almonds.
Potato soup is quite common in Germany but usually served with meat, bockwurst or bacon pieces. I always thought the soup would go very well with the many kinds of smoked fish available here an decided to give it a try. I intended to use smoked eel but didn't find any at my local shop. The same shop had some nice looking smoked trout on offer so I went with them, I hadn't managed to get rid of the idea of using nuts into a soup, and trout was perfect. Trout and almonds are a great match. I also wanted to give the soup a strong but not overpowering aroma. I toyed with the idea of using confit garlic but decided to go for a less Mediterranean flavour and chose horseradish.
The recipe (for 2):
5-6 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 big shallot, finely chopped
150 ml Schmand (or creme fraiche)
1/2-1 tsp tomato concentrate
3 tsp horseradish sauce (Taffelmerretich not horseradish-cram sauce)
2 heaped Tbs sliced almonds
1 smoked trout, skinned, de-boned and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken stock (to give a little deepness to the soup)
First I gently cooked the shallot in a little butter, till soft. I then added the potatoes, stock and enough water to barely cover the potatoes. I let them simmer till cooked all the way through. The potatoes were then creamed with an immersion "mixer" (can't remember the correct English word now). To this puree I added the horseradish, salt to taste, the schmand (a German creme fraiche, with slightly less fat) and just enough tomato concentrate to give the soup a light pinkish hue. I left this to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, to blend the flavours and finished the soup "topping". The trout pieces were briefly dunked in hot water to just warm them. In a pan I quickly toasted the almonds with a teaspoon of butter.
The plating was very simple: the soup went into warmed plates, the trout sprinkled in the middle and the almonds all around.
The final result was better than I expected. The soup tasted of horseradish without being too hot, the tomato giving a subtle extra note and matched nicely the trout although maybe a slightly more smoked fish would have been even better. The almonds were a nice flavour and texture addition.