Recipe #1 – Smoked Finnan Haddock Soup


Well the first dish was made last night – my mate Simon popped on over to see my new house so I thought I’d better get started with this little undertaking!

I decided on Smoked Finnan Haddock Soup as the first dish – it seemed straight-forward enough and the ingredients were easy to get at short-notice. A bit of poaching and then liquidising were the most testing techniques. Easy-peasy – all done in 35 minutes.

I’ve decided that Tuedsay’s are the best day for fish dishes as the fish is usually delivered on that day. The fishmongers in the Arndale market were very good. Nice, super-fresh, plump fish fillets – and very good value for money; seven quid for 8 ounces of naturally-smoked haddock and 12 ounces of white fish (I chose cod, whiting and coley). I didn’t want to use all cod as the white fish as perhaps I would have done 10 years ago, but it’s much too expensive these days, plus it’s on its way to extinction with overfishing. (I doubt if I could pass the Pepsi challenge with coley and cod anyway.)

Pour boiling water over 8 ounces of Finnan haddock and let it lightly poach for 10 minutes. Whilst you’re waiting for that, cut 12 ounces of white fish into cubes and melt 2 ounces of butter in a pan and cook a large chopped onion. once soft, stir in a tablespoon of flour and let it cook out for two minutes or so. Measure out a quarter of a pint of the haddock water as well as a pint of milk. Flake the haddock and keep a tablespoon of the fish aside. Place the rest – bones, skin and all – into the soup pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove any large obvious bones and then liquidise the soup, then reheat it without letting it boil. Add a quarter of a pint of cream and some chopped parsley. Stir the tablespoon of reserved haddock meat, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Here’s what Simon said about the soup:

“Tuesdsay11th September 2007Grigson’s smoked haddock soup. Served with brown bread and a crisp Sauvinon Blanc.Happy to report I have had the pleasure of eating Neil’s first official dish from the book. The soup served was a creamy delight with a delicate but plentiful flavour. The smoked fish was balanced wonderfully with cream, parsley and lemon; all presented well with an excellent consistancy. Overall the soup was very moreish so I went back for more. Yummy, next please.
Food: 5
Service: 4
Decor: 2(Out of 5 that is)”

So a great start – I would certainly recommend this one to anyone who wants to make a quick supper or a very easy, but impressive starter.

Simon decided that the next dish to be attemped is: Duck Stewed in Green Peas

However, I’m going to do some veggie stuff soon too as my boyfriend Greg is a veggie – as well as a fair few friends of mine too! Maybe a meat and two veg with a veggie option is the way to go.

Send me your ideas please!!

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