Love fish. Love soup. Make chowder.
I adore fish chowder; whether it’s in a seaside pub in Ireland with a slice of fresh soda bread slathered in butter or on the coast of Maine – it’s decadent creaminess is wonderful when you’re breathing in a good dose of sea air.
But, if I’m really honest, it’s sometimes too rich for me.
This is my make-at-home recipe which does a fantastic job without the butter, flour and cream. The additional process of creaming some of your potato to thicken the soup means it’s still yummy but a healthier and still a meal in itself.
Use whatever your fishmonger has in that day. Today Gary, my fish-man-in-a-van at my local market, had some lovely line-caught cod and haddock.
Ask your fishmonger to skin and remove the pin bones for you, that’s why we love them – because they’ve got skills.
If you forget, simply poach the fish for less than a minute in milk, leave to cool and gently remove both the skin and any bones with your fingers.
If pushed for time or lacking in a local fishmonger, get a fish pie mix from your local supermarket.
Add any seafood you like, mussels, razor clams, squid, fresh prawns – just be careful not to overcook them.
There are no rules, just what’s in season and what you like. And stuff this soup FULL of lovely things from the sea.
- 1 un-dyed smoked haddock – a good-sized, thick fillet
- 1 cod fillet – again a good size
- 1 salmon fillet
- 1 packet brown shrimp or prawns
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large banana shallots, finely chopped (or use a packed of pre-chopped frozen ones)
- I clove garlic
- 2 baking potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
- 1 can of sweet corn (340g)
- 500ml fish stock
- 400 ml milk, semi-skimmed is fine
- Small bunch parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper
- Pinch chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
- Gently sauté your diced shallots (and bacon lardons too if you fancy) in your oil with a whole clove of garlic. Take your time – you want them just translucent, not singed. Remove the garlic clove – it will have left a whisper of flavour.
- Par-boil your diced potato in the stock in a good sized pan.
- Remove approximately 1/3 the cooked potato with a ladleful of stock and blitz in a processor until your have a creamy paste. Add back into pan.
- Add the cooked shallots, sweetcorn and milk.
- Season well.
- Bring your soup base to a gentle simmer and add your fish. You have two choices – you can either cube your fish before adding it or you can put the fillets on top of your soup in slabs and let them flake apart themselves. Add any thicker bits first so you don’t overcook the thin bits. Cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add any seafood and cook for another minute.
- Re-check the seasoning.
- Serve sprinkled with generous amounts of chopped parsley.
Serves 4. Prep time 20 minutes. Cook time 10 minutes.
Although you can reheat this soup, it’s best served immediately when your fish is perfectly cooked.