Sunday, August 9, 2009

Solar Cooked Potato Fennel Soup with Salmon Patè

I found this recipe on and made a few minor modifications. The original recipe called for smoked salmon. I used salmon patè that comes in a tube, which I got from, of all places, Ikea. It's cheaper, more convenient and, in my opinion, works better in this recipe than smoked salmon. Even without salmon this is a perfectly acceptable soup. The salmon, however, takes it from a ho hum dish to something good enough for company. Here's my version.

Solar Oven Potato-Fennel Soup with Salmon Patè

2 tsp butter
1 leek white part only chopped
1 fennel bulb chopped, fronds reserved
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 large potato, diced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Melt butter in a cast iron dutch oven. Add fennel, leek and fennel seed and cook until soft. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Cover and transfer to solar oven. When potatoes are tender remove from solar oven and blend in the pot with an immersion blender. Add more chicken broth if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped fennel fronds and salmon pate.
In addition to substituting the smoked salmon with the patè I also cut the recipe in half and used less butter. This is yet another recipe that adapts perfectly to solar cooking.


  1. Hi I found your blog while playing with feedjit, that's a neat app that I started using on my blog site
    It's also neat to stumble upon interesting blogs such as yours, solar cooking, that is so cool, actually HOT I guess. Love your recipes, I am going to check out a solar ovens soon.

  2. Inspired by your blog, I made myself a very simple (and cheap!) solar cooker using these instructions: I filled a lightweight black pot with apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, got it all set up outside and...the sun went behind some clouds. Darn! The outside of the pot felt pretty hot though, so I left it out there for the rest of the day and hoped for the best. I figured worse came to worst, we'd be eating raw apples. (I also didn't get it set up until 1 in the afternoon.) I went out to check on it at one point and the wind had blown it over, plus it ended up in the shade! I set it back up again and checked on it about an hour later, and success!! The apples actually came out pretty good! I think I will try again tomorrow with some veggies. Thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoon, so I'll try to get it set up early in the day. Once I've experimented with some simple vegetarian stuff, maybe I'll feel more emboldened to try more complicated dishes.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Welcome to the world of solar cooking. Great link. As I progress with my year of solar cooking I want to try some of these home made solar cookers. They'd be great for cooking rice and such while the main course is in the Sun Oven. My first solar cooker was similar to the one in your link. It worked and got me hooked on solar cooking. When I got my Sun Oven we had a week of overcast skies. The only overcast week in the 16 years I've been in AZ.