Food Tells the Story in Immigrant Novels - Northern Yum Print
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Navy Bean & Root Vegetable Soup

  • Author: Wendy Swallow
  • Total Time: 60 minutes


Nora’s adaptation of Fiskesuppe, a Norwegian Cod and Root Vegetable Soup, from Searching for Nora: After the Doll’s House by Wendy Swallow



  • 3 cups dried white Navy beans (in place of fish)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion (small, chopped)
  • 2 carrots (medium, sliced ¼” thick)
  • 2 parsnips (large, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 rutabagas (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 turnips (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 new potatoes (medium, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 6 cups water or vegetable/chicken stock, or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill or fresh chive (chopped, plus more for garnish)
  • Lefse with butter (for serving)


The night before, put the beans in a large soup pot and cover with water.  Heat to boiling, then turn off the heat and leave them covered overnight.  In the morning, drain off the water, then return them to the soup pot.

Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft, 8-10 minutes.

Put the onion, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, potatoes, salt and pepper, and the water or stock into the soup pot with the beans.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the milk, and the dill and chive, and heat just to steaming (not boiling).  Serve with lefse and butter.

  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Norwegian
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