Last Updated on August 22, 2021 by Nazmin Sarker
Conger Eel Soup Recipe
This conger eel soup recipe from the island of Jersey brings together the fine vegetables that grow on the island with rich milk from its pastures and flatfish name from the seas. Not the smarter fish that can be so good there, but conger eel. It’s sturdy peasant fare, a main-course chowder to fill hungry stomachs.
There’s one charming touch that marks it out and that’s a scattering of marigold petals ( perfectly edible, though not absolutely essential) to bring flashes of color and a delicate taste.
- 1 kg (2 ¼ lb ) piece of conger eel
- 1.7 liters (3 pints) water
- ½ green cabbage, shredded
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 110g (4 oz) shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
- 300g (11oz) small new potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1.15 liters (2 pints) full-cream milk
- 30g (1 oz) butter
- 30g (1 oz) plain flour
- 150ml (¼ pint) double cream salt and pepper
- Chop the conger eel up into large chunks and rinse. Put into a saucepan with the water and bring it up to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes, skimming off any scum that rises to the top. Strain off the liquid and reserve.
- Remove the skin of the conger and pick off the edible flesh left on the bones. Reserve the flesh and discard the skin and bones.
- Return the liquid to the cleaned saucepan and add all the vegetables plus the herbs, including the marigold leaves, and salt and pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the milk to the pan and bring it back to a boil. Mash the butter with the flour to form a paste. Dot little bits into the soup and stir until dissolved. return the fish to the pan and simmer the soup gently for 5 minutes, until lightly thickened.
- Stir in the cream and then taste and adjust the seasoning- it needs a fair amount of salt to save it from blandness. Scatter with marigold petals, if using, and serve.
Moroccan Conger Eel
A specialty of Safi, which was where we got stranded late one night as William sat talking in a freezing warehouse with like-minded Moroccan conger eel fish dealers.
The water was alive with phosphorescence, a beautiful evening quite foodless. If only they could have conducted business over a plate of conger eel. It seems the weirdest and ridiculous combination of ingredients to us it’s worth trying, out of curiosity if nothing else. You’ll surprise.
Serve it with warm Arab flatbread or pitta bread. Or, if you want a more substantial starchy accompaniment, boiled rice or even couscous.
Moroccans like their conger cooked far beyond what we would consider done, to the point where it begins to collapse down into the sauce.
- 1-1.5kg (2 ¼ -3 1/4lb) conger eel, cut into 6 pieces
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) carrots, thinly sliced
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) red onions, halved and sliced into thin semi-circles
- 250g (9 oz) seedless raisins
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon generous pinch of saffron strands
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- 900ml (1 ½ pint) water
- 110ml (4 fl oz) sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 200’C/400’F/Gas Mark 6. Drop the fish into boiling water and let it simmer for 4 minutes.
- Lift out and scrape off the skin with a thin-bladed knife.
- Remove the large central bones and as many smaller bones as you can.
- Make a bed of carrots in a lightly oiled flameproof baking dish.
- Place the conger on top and then strew over the saffron and some salt and sprinkle over, then scatter on the garlic and half the coriander.
- Add the water and oil, cover, and bake for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to the hob and boil the sauce for about 15 minutes to give a fairly thick, Stewie consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, scatter with the remaining coriander and serve.
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