Oak-smoked haddock recipe

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There’s a predominance of fish in this book that betrays my seaside location. A walk along the Stade, where the day boats are winched straight out of the water and up onto the pebbly beach, reveals that many of the tall huts once used for drying nets have been converted into smokeries, their kinked silver flues snaking their way up the exterior walls. There exists here an endearing eagerness to smoke anything within arm’s reach, but I’ll happily eschew the array of smoked olives, cheese, hummus… for the fantastic fish. The hot-smoked salmon is probably the main event, but the oak-smoked haddock deserves honourable mention and is flavoursome enough that you don’t need too much to add a deep smoky fishy flavour to this lighter version of a chowder.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, diced 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cups (1.2 litres) whole milk
  • ½ jelly vegetable stock pot
  • 5½ oz (160 g) small new potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ cup (100 g) frozen peas
  • 10½ oz (300 g) oak-smoked haddock (in one large piece), skinned and boned
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon zest, plus a squeeze of the juice
  • grated nutmeg, to season
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan set over low heat and sauté the onion, leeks and garlic gently for about 10 minutes or so until everything is well softened.
  2. Add the milk, jelly stock, potatoes and bay leaves, put the lid on the pan and increase the heat to medium–high to bring the liquid to a simmer, but don’t let it boil. Once simmering, turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are just a couple of minutes off being completely tender.
  3. Add the peas and the fish and cook for about 4 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Remove it with a large slotted spoon or strainer and flake it into pieces. Add it back to the pan, along with the parsley and the lemon zest. Season the soup well with a little salt (if needed – the fish will be quite salty), plenty of black pepper, a little grated nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls to serve.
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