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I made this as a welcome home soup for my husband, but it also served as an impromptu meal for a lovelorn friend. Soup is homely, welcoming and comforting and I relish these cold, damp days because of it. You needn’t be tired or weary to enjoy it, but it makes it all the more special if you are.

Smoked Haddock Chowder – Serves 4

500g undyed smoked haddock

2 medium leeks, sliced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 shallots, sliced

50g butter

Dash of olive oil

2 bay leaves

6 black peppercorns

4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped

100ml full fat milk

1 tblsp cider vinegar

2 sweetcorn cobs, boiled and corns sliced off (easiest in a bowl slicing downwards)

Small bunch of both chives and flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

To Prepare

In a saucepan, lay down the fish and add the peppercorns and bay. Cover with water (about a pint). Cover and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes (until the flesh is just cooked). Remove fish and strain the liquid into a jug (for later).

Next heat the butter and oil in a saucepan, and gently fry the bacon, shallots, celery and leeks for about 10 to 15 minutes (until well softened). Then add the potatoes and cover with the buttery oil. Then pour in the haddock water, season, cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes (until the potatoes go mushy).

Remove from the heat and blend coarsely (I like the soup to be textured). Pour in the milk and cider vinegar, and then flake in the fish and add the sweetcorn. Check seasoning and add the chopped herbs.


To Serve:

Freshly baked rolls (mine were plain rather than erinaceous)

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