Smoked fish soup with haddock

Smoked fish soup: we confess to having a love of soup and some of our favorites contain cream as this smoked fish soup does. Not quite a chowder but really close!

This nourishing and substantial soup makes use of smoked haddock, a tasty and versatile fish which is also good poached and served with a knob of butter, or flaked with cooked rice as a kedgeree.

Smoking fish slowly over a wood fire is an ancient British way of preserving food while giving it a unique flavour. Our most famous smoked fish, the kipper, is one of Britain’s great contributions to the good food of the world.

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Smoked fish soup with haddock

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 4 cups (950ml) whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound (450g) smoked haddock
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium (8-ounce; 225g) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound (450g) Yukon gold potatoes, peel on or off as desired, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Finely minced chives, for garnish
  1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat milk with bay leaf over medium heat until nearly simmering. Add fish and cook until just starting to flake. Using a slotted spoon, remove fish to paper towels to drain; set aside. Discard bay leaf. Transfer milk to heatproof mixing bowl or other container; set aside.
  2. Wash saucepan and return to medium heat. Add butter and cook until melted. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until nicely softened but not browned, about 6 minutes.
  3. Return milk to saucepan and add potatoes. Return milk to bare simmer. Then cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes; stir and scrape saucepan occasionally to prevent milk from scorching.
  4. Using a potato masher or large wooden spoon, crush potatoes in pot until partially mashed. You want a good range of potato bits, some so small they thicken the broth but also larger chunks.
  5. Remove and discard any skin or bones from fish; then flake into the soup. Add cream. Season with salt and pepper, and, if desired, stir in pinch of cayenne. Serve, sprinkling chives on top of each bowl.
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