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Recipe

Black Beluga Lentil Soup with Crispy Smelt Fish

 

Fish | Dairy-Free

Black Beluga Lentil Soup with Crispy Smelt Fish

Sounds simple and rustic, right? Well, it is. Lentil soup is a memory that goes way back to my childhood when we used to eat it with vinegar and sugar and back then lentil soup wasn’t pureed either. Lentil soup is prepared in a variety of flavors depending on which country you eat it in. So, you can find different ways to prepare a lentil soup in Germany, Turkey, India or South America. It is always combined with different spices and the lentils used also differ. In any case, one thing is certain: a good lentil soup is always delicious, warming and filling.

Lentil soup memory

The inspiration for this black beluga lentil soup came from a former colleague and dear friend I cooked with for a few years. Back then, we served black beluga lentil soup with small calamari stuffed with white beans and truffles. I’ve recreated the soup a few times and straining it was especially no fun. These days, fortunately, I have a decent blender that saves me that hassle. Nevertheless, good culinary experiences remain in the memory, and at times, triggered by some moments or names, are brought out again. In this case, it was the birthday of my friend Eddi, from Mochi Vienna, which revived all the good old times. As I remembered that day, this recipe came back to mind and I was eager to modify it a bit.

black beluga lentils in a paper bag on white background
spread sepia ink on a marble board on white background
making black beluga lentil soup in a silver pot on white background
two mini cucumbers on white background

Smelt - the cucumber fish

This small, especially in the north of Germany, very popular fish has the characteristic not really to smell of fish, but of cucumber, hence the name cucumber fish, which is always mentioned together with the smelt. I followed the traditional way of preparing the smelt, just salting it and tossing it in rye flour before frying. Usually, the whole fish is eaten here with head and bones, since the smelt is quite small. However, those who do not like to bite off the fish’s head are of course not obliged to do so. Together with the rich black beluga lentil soup and its vinegar note, the smelt goes very well. It’s like drizzling some lemon juice over the fish. The cucumber had to be there, of course, to round up the recipe and add a fresh note. Since the smell of the smelt was primarily cucumber, it just had to be on the plate.

smelt fish in a vintage lunch box on white background
flour tossed smelt fish on a gray plate on white background
fried crispy smelt fish in a red staub cast iron pan on white background

Recipe

Black Beluga Lentil Soup with Crispy Smelt Fish

3 Persons45 Minutes

Black Beluga Lentil Soup
  • 150 g Greens
  • 50 g Potatoes
  • 800 ml Vegetable Stock or Water
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 5 g Sepia Ink
  • Salt, Pepper & Sugar to taste

For the black Beluga lentil soup, peel the greens and potatoes, cut into cubes and sauté. Then add the lentils and pour in the vegetable stock or water. Cook the lentil soup over medium heat until the lentils are soft. Then empty the pot into a blender, puree with the sepia ink until creamy and season with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.

Crispy Smelt Fish
  • 6-9 Smelts
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Rye Flour

For the crispy smelt, first gut and rinse the smelts, then salt them, turn them in the rye flour and fry them on both sides in a pan with canola oil until crispy.

Serving
  • 1 Mini Cucumber

To serve, cut the cucumber lengthwise into thin strips and arrange with the soup. Skewer the smelts and serve with them.

two skewered crispy smelt fish on white background
black beluga lentil soup with crispy smelt fish on white background
black beluga lentil soup with crispy smelt fish on white background

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