RECIPE: Smoked Fish Chowder

The Bay Tree's Sue Farmer cooks a classic fish dish

Sue Farmer is Head Chef and owner of The Bay Tree restaurant in Holywood. Here she cooks up a classic Smoked Fish Chowder.

'A lot of people tell me that they really love this Smoked Fish Chowder, and it delights me to hear that. But it also presents me with a dilemma: do we keep putting it on the menu, or research and change? I stagger between the two. 

'Its function really depends on the potato and fish content. It makes a very good starter with a tiny amount of potato and maybe the addition of some dill and smoked salmon. 

'This recipe is super as a lunch. For dinner, I would then add some white fish and a few mussels to create a fish stew'.

1 onion
2 stalks of celery
25g butter
1 medium tin sweetcorn
400g potatoes
300g smoked cod or haddock
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
½ leek (not essential, but adds colour)
300ml cream
Squeeze of lemon
Chopped fresh parsley

'Peel and chop the onion, remembering that whatever size you chop the ingredients is the size they will be when you are eating them, so they need to be manageable but chunky.

'Using a potato peeler or sharp knife, destring the celery, as these parts do not break down with cooking.

'Gently melt the butter and add the onion, celery, potatoes, sweetcorn and leek, although the latter is optional.

'Sweat, tightly covered, for about 5 minutes, then cover the vegetables with water, adding a stock cube. Simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked.

'Meanwhile take any bones out of the fish (you will find a line of them running beside the thickest part of the fish) and cube the flesh. Add to the soup with the cream and possibly a little milk. Cook gently for another 6 minutes.

'Taste, adjust seasoning, add a dash of lemon juice. This is important. Finally, add lots of chopped fresh parsley and serve.'