A bowl of hot soup is a great way to warm up in Iceland, as the weather is almost never hot here
We've collected the best local soup recipes for you in this blog. Some of them are old and traditional – like Icelandic lamb soup or fish soup, and some are more recent. As a bonus, here is a delicious Icelandic tomato soup recipe, provided by Friðheimar tomato farm.
Kjötsúpa – Icelandic Meat Soup
- 2 pounds Icelandic lamb shank, on or off the bone (If off the bone, cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 8 -10 Icelandic lamb neck bones (about 2 inches)
- 5- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 – 5 yellow potatoes, cubed
- 1 large rutabaga (aka Swede), cubed
- Arctic herbs, such as wild thyme and Anjelica root, to taste (I used an Arctic herb salt that I purchased in Reykjavik)
- 1 bunch curly parsley, plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot, just cover the lamb with water.
Simmer for a few minutes and pour off the water.
Place everything in the pot, cover with water with an extra couple of inches, and simmer, covered, for an hour.
Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Remove the parsley, and refrigerate overnight.
You will likely need to add more salt after re-heating.
Fiskisúpa– Icelandic Fish Soup
- 500g of Arctic Char (or Salmon)
- 500g of Haddock (or Cod or Plaice)
- 1 Large Yellow Onion
- 1 Large Leek
- 1 Celeriac (Celery Root)
- 5 Tomatoes
- 500 ml of 18% Cream
- 1 Can of Tomato Puree
- 2 Handfuls of fresh Chives
- 3 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp of Port or Sherry (I used Pear Cognac)
- 3 tbsp of Dry Red Wine
- 3 tbsp of butter and enough Vegetable Bouillon to handle three liters of water.
- Heavy Cream for garnish
Finely dice the onion and leek. In a large pot, lightly sauté onion and leek in butter until soft. Add the sherry and red wine. Reduce for 4 minutes.
Peel and julienne your celeriac. Add the celeriac and tomato puree to the pot and sauté for 4 minutes until soft.
Add 3 liters of water with vegetable bouillon and toss in the red wine vinegar. Boil for 15 minutes. Thinly dice up the tomatoes.
Skin the arctic char and set the skin off to the side. Cube all the fish (arctic char and haddock)
Add the tomatoes and fish. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the 18% cream and season well. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Don’t boil.
Serve in a big bowl with a drizzle of cream and sprinkle on some fresh chives.
Goes great with sourdough bread and crispy fish skin (fry the skin you saved earlier in a pan with oil and sprinkle with salt).
Humarsúpa– Icelandic Lobster Soup
For the broth:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 to 4 lobster tail shells
- Shrimp shells from 1/2 kg large (16/20 count) shrimp
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Bouquet garni: 5 sprigs each - thyme and parsley, 1 bay leaf, and 5 whole peppercorns
- 1 large shallot, peeled
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- pinch white pepper
- pinch salt
- 6 to 7 cups of water
For the soup:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/3 cup dry sherry
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 small can of plum tomatoes and the juice
- 4 cups shrimp and lobster stock
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 to 4 lobster tails, chopped
- 500 grams of shelled large shrimp, chopped
- White pepper and salt, to taste
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté the shrimp and lobster shells until pink.
Add the sherry and white wine, and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover about 6 to 7 cups.
Simmer (do not boil) uncovered, for an hour, or until reduced to about 4 cups of liquid.
Strain through a fine-mesh cloth. Discard solids.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallot in butter until translucent.
Add the sherry and simmer until reduced by half.
Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock, and thyme. Simmer gently, covered for 20 minutes. Remove the thyme and puree with an immersion blender. Pass soup through a fine-mesh cloth or sieve.
Return to low heat and temper the cream with some of the hot soup, and slowly add to the soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the lobster and shrimp to the gently simmering soup.
Simmer for 3 minutes, turn off the heat, and cover for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Serve immediately, garnished with a drizzle of chili oil, and a sprig of thyme.
Sveppasúpa – Icelandic Creamy Mushroom Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 garlic cloves, mashed
- 500g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 tsp thyme, dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- 500 ml water
- 1 cube of vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp flour stir in 2 tbsp water
- 2 dl cream
- 3 dl milk
- salt and pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Fry the garlic for 2 minutes.
Then add the mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce.
Fry at medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the liquid has gone out of the mushrooms.
Now pour in the water and add the vegetable stock, simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Thicken the soup with flour and water, pour the mixture into the soup while boiling and stir constantly.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the milk and cream. Note that if the milk and cream are ice cold, there is a risk of icing.
Turn off the heat under the pot and taste again.
Serve with freshly baked bread.
And as promised – the bonus
Tómatsúpa - Icelandic tomato soup (Friðheimar tomato soup recipe)
- 1 pot (2L) of ripe tomatoes with skin
- cold water to just cover the tomatoes
- 1 cube of vegetable broth
- cayenne pepper and salt to taste
- ripe mango (or mango chutney) just a little, to taste
- a few springs of fresh basil (for serving)
Put everything but mango in a pot and simmer for approximately 30 min or until tomatoes are soft
For sweetening add a little ripe mango or mango chutney
Mince with a hand processor
Serve with fresh basil and bread
You can taste this tomato soup at Friðheimar farm on our Golden Circle tour. Cooked from fresh Icelandic tomatoes, grown at the same greenhouse as the restaurant is in – the soup is always a hit!