I have always thought the term ‘chowder’ a little strange, as let’s be honest here, it’s very soup like so why isn’t it classed as soup? If I were to give it a definition it would be a chunky milky soup; that was until I ate out once and it was a bowl of blended fish with a tomato base (as gross as the consistency sounds it did taste pretty nice). Something however makes me think that this wasn’t playing by the chowder rule book, so I have decided to look at the answers of the World Wide Web and find out exactly what makes a chowder;
So…… Google definition states ‘a rich soup typically containing fish, clams, or corn with potatoes and onions’ – by this definition both my soup and the blended mess fits.
Wikipedia’s definition was however more educating, and somewhat strange, ‘Chowder is a seafood or vegetable stew, often served with milk or cream and mostly eaten with saltine crackers. Chowder is usually thickened with broken up crackers, but some varieties are traditionally thickened with crushed ship biscuit.’ – On a very serious note, who puts biscuits in their chowder and what the heck is a ship biscuit!!!???
I however have decided to go with the old faithful BBC and agree that ‘hearty and warming, chowder is a creamy soup with potatoes that really fights off the winter chill,’ sounds better then blended or biscuits ei? So, if you fancy something delicious, creamy, warming and smoky then you need to give my recipe a try – even if you’re not a huge fan of the idea, it’s officially lush (just follow my directions and don’t go near the blender or biscuits)!!
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 625g un-died smoked haddock
– ½ pint full fat milk
– ½ pint semi skimmed milk
– 3 rashes bacon – finely chopped
– 2 stalks celery – finely chopped
– 2 leeks – finely sliced
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 clove garlic
– 2 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
– 1 pint chicken stock
– 1 tbsp cream cheese
– Large handful sweetcorn.
Put the fish in a deep frying pan with the bay leaf and the milk and cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for a further 5 minutes.
Drain, reserving the milk, then flake the fish and set aside until needed.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan and fry the potato, vegetables, garlic and bacon until the bacon is cooked and starting to turn crispy.
Stir in stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes have softened.
Add the fish, milk, cream cheese and sweetcorn to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the pot is lovely and hot.
Remove the bay leaves, serve and enjoy.