Celery, Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Chowder

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

You’ll need:

  • 750ml whole milk
  • 750g undyed smoked haddock fillet
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 5 sticks celery, chopped into 2-3cm pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped & washed thoroughly and sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 175ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
  • 200g can sweetcorn, drained
  • Generous handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large fresh eggs

What to do:

Pour the milk into a wide-based pan and add the fish, cutting it into pieces if necessary so it fits in a single layer. Sprinkle over the pepper and tuck in the bay leaves. Bring the milk up to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid or tight-fitting piece of foil, and poach the fish gently for 5-8 minutes. It is cooked when it flakes easily. Gently lift the fish from the pan onto a plate, set aside and reserve the poaching milk.

Melt the butter gently in a large, heavy-based pan with celery, onion, carrot and garlic and sweat over a low heat for around 10 minutes until starting to soften.  Add the white wine and allow it to bubble and reduce by about half. Stir through the flour and pour in the reserved poaching milk, mixing constantly until thickened. Add the potatoes and the sweetcorn, cover with a lid and simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked through but not falling apart. This will take around 30 minutes.

Whilst the chowder is simmering flake the fish, discarding the skin and taking care to remove any small bones that may be lurking. Add the flaked fish to the pan just as the potatoes are cooked – it only needs warming through. Add the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. You may also need to add a little salt depending on how salty the smoked haddock is.

To serve with poached eggs: When you are ready to serve, start to poach the eggs by filling a wide-based pan with cold water. Bring up to a rolling boil and turn the heat down to a really gentle simmer. Carefully crack in the eggs and allow them to poach undisturbed until they are cooked to your liking – 4-5 minutes should give you a set white and runny yolk.

Serve the chowder in deep bowls, topped with a poached egg.