I’m sure every nation has a country soup dish – Norway has Lapskaus.
Lapskaus can range from a watery soup to a thick stew, it all depends on how you like it. Traditionally being made from last nights left overs, Lapskaus uses potatoes as a thick base with other hearty, winter vegetables and meat. The idea of Lapskaus is ‘anything goes’, so you can guarantee that your soup will be an original masterpiece every time.
It seems like everyone in Norway has made up their own version, even the Kings Royal Guards have their Gardelapskaus (The Guard Lapskaus) that they make for everyone on their open days. Over the years there have been some recipes that have stuck, however they describe more of a theme rather than set ingredients:
This lapskaus is like a thick brown stew with beef. Brown gravy adds to the potato base and it is generally so thick you can eat it with a fork.
A creamy sauce (bechamel) is used to give this lapskaus a smooth creamy texture. Light meat such as pork or sausage is used to add a little salt to balance the meal.
This soup uses potato and stock for a base. Any meat can be used, however, it is very common to use salty meats such as pickled pork or ham to enhance the flavour.
I find that the potatoes are very important to the texture of the dish. When the dish simmers the edges of the potatoes dissolve making a natural thick sauce. In Norway they use yellow, floury, potatoes for such dishes, so any potato that is good for mashing will probably be good to use.
As a guide, you can use our original (last nights) lapskaus recipe:
Chop into bite-size pieces and throw all into a big pot:
4 large potatoes
2 large carrots
1 celery stick
1 think slice of swede
2 garlic pieces (minced)
200g cooked chicken pieces
200g cooked salty bacon bits*
1 chicken stock cube
Bring to boil and simmer for at least 30mins. Serve with crusty bread, pita bread – or even better, Norwegian flat-bread.
*Salty bacon or ham goes really well with this dish – I find it a little bland without it. It also means you don’t need to use extra salt. Make sure you don’t overcook the bacon otherwise it will be too hard for the soft soup.
Note: If you like your soup thick add less water – if you like it thin, add more – easy!
You are most welcome to do all the ‘chefy’ stuff like saute the onions, garlic and herbs in butter and use your home-made stock, etc – but Norwegians never do and it still tastes great.