Forget fish and chips – the real seaside flavours are in this delicious smoked fish chowder recipe. A taste of the sea: in a bowl. Great for the 5:2 Diet with only 251 cals.
Real seasiders know it. The visitor centre people know it – but they won’t tell you. Dogs DEFINITELY know it. What’s the secret? It’s when to go to the beach
Forget summer: spring is the absolute best time for a sandy stroll. No traffic queues, no wasps, no crowds, no drunken barbecues, no getting clonked on the head by teenagers playing football two feet from your towel.
Instead you get abundant parking spaces, lungfuls of fresh, salty air and acres of beach to call your own. The ultimate healthy weekend afternoon.
Healthy, that is, as long as you don’t undo all your good work by indulging in huge great portions of that other seaside favourite – fish and chips. I avoid the temptation by planning ahead. Yes, we can enjoy flaky chunks of fish, earthy potatoes and flavours to savour. The difference is, I cook them all up into this wonderful smoked fish chowder, pop it into the biggest flask I can find and enjoy it, wrapped up warm, on a sea-facing bench in the spring sunshine.
Smoked fish chowder
Serves 4 • Ready in 45 mins
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
400g (14oz) skinless smoked haddock or cod (324 cals)
500ml (generous 2 cups) skimmed (skim) milk (160 cals)
500ml (generous 2 cups) fish or vegetable stock (fresh or made with 1 cube) (35 cals)
1 tsp olive oil (27 cals)
4 leeks, trimmed and cut into thin rings (106 cals)
½ tsp cumin seeds
500g (1lb 2 oz) new potatoes, skin on, quartered (350 cals)
• Place the peppercorns, bay leaf and fish in a saucepan. Pour in the milk and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer gently until just cooked through, about 6–8 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid.
• Meanwhile in a wide lidded frying pan (skillet), heat the oil over a low heat and stir in the leeks. Put the lid on and soften the leeks for 10 minutes.
• Remove the lid from the leeks and turn up the heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they start to sizzle and pop, then stir in the potatoes. Pour in the poaching liquid from the fish and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
• Turn off the heat. Break the fish apart gently with your fingers and add to the soup. Heat gently for 1–2 minutes before serving.
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