I had several bowls of calm chowder when I was in Boston back in April, but clams are difficult to get here unless they're in a tin and they are really salty, so when I came across this recipe for smoked haddock chowder, I knew I had to try it. I love the comforting nature of this soup, it's creamy and filling with the potatoes and also packed full of veg. What could be better?
Smoked Haddock Chowder (from Good Food Magazine January 2005)
450g undyed smoked haddock fillet, skinned
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g french beans, chopped into 2in pieces
125ml dry sherry
pinch of paprika
225g floury potatoes, peeled and diced
100g frozen or canned sweetcorn kernels
Put the fish in a frying pan with the bay leaf and milk. Bring to a simmer, then cover and set aside for 10 mins. Lift out the fish with a slotted spoon, flake roughly, discarding any bones, and strain the milk.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 3-4 mins until softened. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for a minute, then tip in the garlic and green beans and cook for a further 5 mins. Now stir in the sherry and simmer until almost all the liquid has disappeared.
Add the paprika and potatoes, pour in the poaching milk and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 mins, add the sweetcorn and cook for 5 mins more. Remove from the heat and gently fold in the fish. To serve, scatter over some chopped fresh parsley and accompany with the garlic bread.