Situated in the Cultural Centre with indoor and outdoor seating, the Cultural Centre café serves an all-day menu including morning coffee, afternoon tea, sandwiches and light lunches. With its focus on fresh and local, it’s a great place to catch up with friends or take a break whilst visiting the Art Gallery.

Something’s Fishy In The Cultural Centre Café

The colder Katoomba temperatures are fast approaching and thoughts turn to wholesome, hearty foods. In the Cultural Centre Café we have been serving soup of late, and some of our recipes have proven to be very popular. Customer favourites include our Moroccan Lamb and Chick Pea Soup, our Authentic Italian Minestrone, our Genuine Scotch Broth, exotic Pumpkin and Eggplant Kasaundi Soup and our Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. But undoubtedly, by far the most popular has been our Smoked Cod and Potato Soup. Bowing to popular request, here is the recipe for you all to try this at home. Enjoy!

Dublin Bay Smoked Cod & Potato Soup

This is a really simple soup to make that produces great results. The Smoked Cod does all the work for you, bringing such intense, unique flavour to this chunky, thick soup. In the café kitchen, we use two separate pots to cook this soup therefore allowing the ingredients to cook individually before mixing them together at the end. We use a large measure of turmeric in the recipe which adds a beautiful rich texture and flavour to the dish. This recipe has been in my family in Ireland for as long as anyone can remember. I had been attributing the recipe directly to my mother, but I was surprised to find that it is in fact my Nana’s recipe, so more than likely, this will have been my great Grandmother’s recipe too. Whoever came up with it, I’m proud to serve it here for you in the Cultural Centre Café.

Serves 4 – 6

1kg Desirée Potatoes
3 – 4 Large Smoked Cod Fillets
2 Large Brown Onions
3 – 4 bay leafs
1 Litre Pure Cream
1 – 2 litres of Water
2 Tablespoons Turmeric
1 Knob Butter
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 large cooking pots
Fresh Continental Parsley
Fresh Dill

Pot 1

  1. Dice the potatoes and place in a very large pot with the 2 stock cubes and bay leafs. Cover with water, with at least an extra 500ml above the potatoes. Use a very large pot. This is going to be the base of your soup and further ingredients are going to be added.
  2. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the potatoes are very soft and crumbly.

Pot 2

  1. Cut the 2 large brown onions into big chunks.
  2. Line the base of the pot with the onion chunks.
  3. On a gentle heat, soften the onion with the knob of butter for about 2 minutes only.
  4. Place your 3 large smoked cod fillets on top of the onion and cover with pure cream. No need to slice the fillets. Put them in whole.
  5. Bring the cream to a low boil then add 2 large tablespoons of turmeric and gently fold it into the creamy sauce. The colour should be a really bright yellow.
  6. Allow to simmer slowly, giving the rich smoked cod and turmeric flavours plenty of time to permeate the cream.
  7. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Once you are satisfied the cod is well cooked and the flavours have combined, gently add all the contents of Pot 2 into Pot 1.

A good idea is to remove a lot of the potato soup liquid from Pot 1 first, so that the final version of the soup remains thick, not watery. I use a medium sized Pyrex jug to remove the potato liquid and pour it straight into a mixing bowl so that I can set it aside and add it back if necessary.

  1. Fold the ingredients together allowing large, delicious chunks of the Smoked Cod to separate and mix through the soup. Once you are happy with your soup consistency, chop up some fresh continental parsley and dill and add to the soup, setting some aside as a garnish for service.

Reggie Lawless