Stay with me, now….! It may sound strange, and that is exactly what I thought when I found the recipe in the Hamlyn book of soups and that was exactly why I had to try it out! I have an inquisitive tummy!
Also, having lived in Boston, Massachusetts for 1.5 years as a vegetarian I was anxious to try out a fishy chowder of any description as I had missed out on the Boston classic, clam chowder! Smoked fish is much easier to come by when you’re slap-bang in the middle of the North of England!
Well, I tried and I liked very much! I have since made it with 3 different types of smoked fish I had lurking in my freezer and all were equally as creamy, smoky, fragrant and delicious.
It tastes a lot like a fish pie, only the potatoes are not mashed but included in the soup so they soak up all the scrumptious smoky flavours. If you’re a fan of fish pie then I highly recommend you try this.
I have tweaked the recipe a bit, adding sweetcorn and prawns and missing out the butter which it used to fry the onion and potato to make it a little lower in saturated fat, although I imagine it does add a little something to the flavour. Parsley might be a nice addition too. If you wanted this as a main meal you could cook the potatoes separately and mash for a topping, reduce the amount of milk to around half, add in some cornflour to thicken the sauce and double the amount of fish and prawns. Nom!
1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)
2 x small-medium sized onions, peeled and chopped (220g)
350g potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
800ml semi-skimmed milk
1 fish stock cube (10g cube)
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Black or white pepper to taste
250g smoked white fish (haddock, cod, river cobbler, etc.)
150g spinach (fresh or frozen)
100g sweetcorn, canned or frozen
100g large prawns, peeled and cut in half
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for approximately 5 minutes, until softened but not browned.
- Add the diced potatoes and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the potatoes are browned slightly.
- Add the milk, bay leaves, nutmeg and pepper.
- Place the fish fillets whole in the milk. Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove the fish fillets and set aside until cooled. Continue to allow the milk to simmer to cook the potatoes.
- When cooled, remove any skin and bones from the fish. Flake the fish and stir it back into the milk.
- Add the spinach and sweetcorn, stirring it into the milk. If frozen simmer for 3-5 minutes until defrosted.
- Add the prawns and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
Energy 1337 kcal (5594 kJ)
Total sugars 63.4g
Per Serving (Serves 4)
Energy 335 kcal (1402 kJ)
Total sugars 15.9g
A crusty roll (50g) = 130 kcal / 545 kJ
1 rasher of bacon, grilled and sliced = 80 kcal / 335 kJ
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled, chopped into 4-8 pieces = 80 kcal / 335 kJ
A moat of mashed potato, made with semi-skimmed milk (2 scoops or 120g) = 125kcal / 523 kJ
Suggested Ear Candy
I was feeling surprisingly nautical so had to stick on some Seasick Steve – gotta stick with the theme!
You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks by Seasick Steve
Of course, if you really wanted to stretch that sea-faring theme as far as possible there’s always Climie Fisher!
Love Changes Everything by ClimieFisher
Serves 6 – can be served as a main meal too – how versatile is that?!!
**BE WARNED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD – THIS IS SPICY!!! IF YOU PREFER A MILDER FLAVOR REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FRESH CHILLI AND CHILLI POWDER AND MAYBE EVEN THE PEPPERCORNS TO SUIT YOUR TONGUE-BUDS! **
2 x cans chickpeas, drained (480g)
3 x medium sized waxy potatoes, peeled, chopped into 2cm cubes (450g)
1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)
*If you do not have access to the following 5 ingredients try using 1 heaped tbsp. of ready prepared garam masala*
1 cinnamon stick (7-8 cm long)
6 dried bay leaves
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
15g coriander seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 x large white onion, peeled and finely diced (250g)
½ – 1 x red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (4g)
4 cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped (15g)
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. sugar (brown or white)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- In a medium-sized pan bring 1 litre of water to a boil. Add the 2 drained cans of chickpeas and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for later.
- Boil the cubed potato for 15-20 minutes, until softened but still firm. Drain and set aside for later.
- Heat ½ tbsp. of the oil in a saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat. Add the whole cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and 1 tsp. of the cumin seeds and fry for approximately 5 minutes, until browned, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning. Set aside until cooled and then grind to a powder – I use a coffee grinder from circa 1980 for this and it works just fine!
- Heat the remaining ½ tbsp. of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of cumin seeds and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning. Add the chopped onion and fry until softened and browned.
- Add the chopped chilli and ginger to the onion. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, chilli powder, sugar, turmeric and the ground spice mix.
- Add the chickpeas and the water in which they cooked to the pan. Add the pre-cooked potatoes.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander and simmer for a further 10 minutes uncovered.
Energy 1300 kcal (5460 kJ)
Total sugars 35g
Per Serving (Serves 6)
Energy 220kcal (910 kJ)
Total sugars 5.8g
½ x naan bread (80g), toasted = 225kcal / 942 kJ
150g of boiled basmati rice – 200kcal / 840 kJ
*The following will help cool it down if you’ve gone full spice….
1 x tbsp. of reduced fat crème fraiche = 70kcal/ 293 kJ
1 x tbsp. of low fat natural yogurt = 25kcal / 105 kJ
Suggested Ear Candy
I treated my ears a la Bollywood with Mohammed Rafi (Golden Era) which includes this amazing song….
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
- Alternatives (spicy albums)…
Spice Girls (I do not own this and probably never will!)
The Chickpeas (an unsignd band from Austin, Tx that I just discovered today! Have a wee listen – they’re dead easy on the ear and have lots of nice strings
- Alternatives (based on Southern Asian cuisine)…
Mohammed Rafi – Jaan Pehchaan Ho from Ghost World soundtrack (on repeat!) – I massively love this song and can dance around to it for hours