Creamy Smoked Mackerel Soup

Creamy Smoked Mackerel Soup

This soup should have been creamy smoked trout soup, but having decided upon it last Friday evening, the spouse and I were unable to locate any smoked trout in local speciality shops and in town. Eventually I substituted smoked mackerel for the trout.  The other ingredients listed the The Soup Book include fish stock (I used cubes), cream, white wine and Worcestershire sauce, with parsley to garnish.  The editor's note pertaining to trout advises the reader to use whole moist fillets rather than pre-flaked fish as the latter can be dry. The note also refers the reader to the Marine Conservation Society's website ( for guidelines on fish sustainability. Irish readers might be interested in the marine section of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (

It didn't take long to make the soup - the most labour intensive part was skinning and flaking the fish. I'm never too keen on making a roux (see blog of 8th May) but today's experience went smoothly (no pun intended).  The older offspring and I had the soup for lunch a little while ago - the others are out a sporting event.  It was delicious! I like creamy soups and this was certainly creamy - I'd used thick single cream (not sure how thick single cream differs from double cream!). I also liked the combined tang of the white wine, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice which counteracted the cream and mackerel oil.

Bees' Nests and Notes

During the week the spouse sent me this link ( to a story by Kathleen Masterson entitled Busy bees use flower petals for nest wallpaper.  It concerns the Osmia avoseta bee which lays her eggs in tiny nests (one egg in each half-inch nest) made from petals and lined with mud. Fascinating.

"Beekeeping, that's what I'd do."  This is the opening line of Victoria Coren's article The curious case of uppity Uppingham which appeared in The Guardian on 9th May (  In this article she compares and contrasts the ways in which episodes of challenging behaviour by students were handled in two schools. Thought provoking.

Does anyone remember Nut Rocker by B Bumble and the Stingers? First released in 1962 and then again ten years later, it's a rock arrangement of March of the Wooden Soldiers from Tchaikowsky's ballet The Nutcracker. Strictly speaking, there's no honey bee connection, but sometimes you just have to have fun. Listen to it here -


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