Broccoli soup with salmon cakes

    2 hours

    Salmon goes so well with broccoli and watercress, both in flavour and colour. Here the fish is combined with potato and dill in miniature cakes that are delicious served in the fresh green vegetable soup.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 30 g (1 oz) butter
    • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
    • 300 g (10½ oz) broccoli, coarsely chopped
    • 1 large leek, sliced
    • 115 g (4 oz) watercress
    • 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock, preferably home-made light
    • salt and pepper
    • Salmon cakes
    • 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 300 g (10½ oz) salmon fillet
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 55 g (2 oz) semolina
    • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
    • To garnish
    • watercress leaves
    • finely shredded lemon zest

    Prep:1hr10min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. First make the salmon cakes. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10–12 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash thoroughly until smooth.
    2. While the potatoes are cooking, place the salmon in a deep-sided frying pan. Add the milk and heat until barely simmering, then cover the pan and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily. Use a draining spoon to lift the salmon from the milk. Reserve the milk. Flake the salmon, discarding any bones and skin, then add it to the mashed potatoes. Mix in the spring onions, dill, lemon zest and seasoning to taste.
    3. Place the semolina on a large plate. Shape the salmon mixture into 20 small balls, the size of golf balls, then flatten them into neat patties, coating them lightly on both sides with semolina as they are shaped. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
    4. To make the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the potato, broccoli and leek and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in the watercress. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Cool the soup slightly, then purée it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the pan. Stir in the milk used to cook the fish and seasoning to taste. Reheat gently until simmering.
    5. Cook the salmon cakes while the soup is reheating. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and cook half of the cakes for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on kitchen paper. Heat the remaining oil and cook the remaining cakes.
    6. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and float 2–3 salmon cakes in each one. Garnish with watercress and lemon zest, and serve with the remaining salmon cakes.

    Some more ideas

    Use 1 can salmon, about 200 g, drained, to make the salmon cakes. Add 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk when reheating the soup. * For a vegetarian version, make sweetcorn and Parmesan cheese patties instead of fishcakes. Add 1 can sweetcorn, about 200 g, drained, to the potato mixture instead of the salmon. Omit the lemon and dill, and add 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese and ½ tsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce. Shape and cook the patties as for the salmon cakes. Stir in 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk when reheating the soup. * For a homely, chunky soup, instead of making cakes, add both quantities of potatoes to the soup. Cut the salmon into small cubes and add to the soup in step 4 for the last 5 minutes of simmering. Do not purée the soup. Stir in 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk and heat through before serving.

    Plus points

    Salmon is an oily fish and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to protect against heart disease. It also provides B-group vitamins and vitamins A and D. * Semolina, milled from wheat grain, is a starchy carbohydrate that also provides some protein as well as minerals.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, C * B6, B12, E, folate, niacin * D, selenium

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