20 August 2012

* Smoked Haddock Chowder

Smoked Haddock Chowder RecipeI've been going through my freezers just recently, in a bid to work out what we have that needs to be used up before it evolves... like the lone bratwurst sausage that has been a member of the family for the last five years (at least) - I couldn't possibly make use of it, but it did deserve a far better funeral that it got. We named him Billy and consigned him to the bin. 'Bye, bye Billy Bratwurst.'

I did - however - find lots of perfectly usable food. Mostly fish and chicken. I always have loads of chicken in all it's guises, and I have a tendency to buy fish because it's good for you - then not use it. I'm the only one that truly likes fish pie, and that's been about as inventive as it's got over the past few years. Though I'd like that to change.

I was going *out with the girls* on Saturday night, and thought a filling soup would do the trick before I went. Not enough to bloat me out, but enough to line the stomach for the vodkafest that was to follow. Well that was the plan...

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Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe

Serves 4

Prep 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes

You will need
Two fairly deep saucepans.
Baking parchment cut to just slightly larger than the pot you cook the soup in.

150g smoked haddock fillets
100g unsmoked haddock fillets
500ml skimmed milk
500ml vegetable stock (from a cube is fine - I used 2)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion - finely chopped
1 garlic clove - crushed
1 leek - sliced
1 large sweet potato - peeled and diced
2 fresh corn cobs (kernels removed) or 150g tinned or frozen sweetcorn (thawed)
40g red lentils
chopped chives to garnish

Place the fish in one of the saucepans, then add the milk, stock and thyme and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and leave to cool. When cool enough to touch, remove the fish (keeping the liquid) and flake into a bowl.

While the fish is cooking, you can the heat the oil in the other pan, then lightly fry the onion, leek and garlic until beginning to soften, but not colour. About 8 - 10 minutes.

Add the sweet potato, sweetcorn and lentils, then pour the liquid you cooked the fish in, over the top. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, placing the cartouche you cut out (the baking parchment circle) over the top. It helps to prevent a scum from forming. 

Check the seasoning and either use a stick blender to puree some (but not all) of the soup, to thicken it.

Stir in the flaked fish and heat through.

Serve garnished with the chopped chives and with crusty bread if you're feeling hungry. I don't tend to bother - this soup is very filling without any help.

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