Our resident food contributor, Laura Godfrey, is back with a tasty chowder to warm you up from the insides.
Jerusalem artichokes have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance over the past couple of years and I, for one, am chuffed about it. Despite the name, these little tubers are not from Jerusalem, nor are they an artichoke; instead they belong to the sunflower family (hence their alternative name of ‘sun choke’). Their season is short and they are good right now.
Their nuttiness works well paired with sweet smoked haddock. I love the combination in a gratin or pie but this earthy and wholesome soup is a treat on a chilly afternoon too. Serve with crusty bread for dipping and maybe a crisp green salad to cut through the richness.
Notoriously difficult to peel, I don’t bother, preferring to give them a good scrub and if necessary, trim. If you feel so inclined and want a clearer soup, I suggest scraping with a spoon as per root ginger.
Bulked out with hearty veg in a soup like this is also a relatively economical way to include fish in your families diet, particularly when smoked for a little goes a long way.
Choose undyed fish if you can – there is no difference in flavour or cost, and avoids unnecessary chemicals.
Jerusalem Artichoke & Smoked Haddock Chowder
The ingredients are easily doubled or tripled.
150 grams undyed smoked haddock fillet
300 mls milk
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 bay leaf
A few peppercorns
Knob of butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
300 grams Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed & cubed
400 mls vegetable stock
50 mls double cream
Squeeze of lemon juice
Cracked black pepper to season
Place the smoked haddock in a pan with the peppercorns, bay leaf and half the thyme and pour over the milk. Place on a low heat and gently simmer for 2 minutes until just cooked.
Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pass the milk through a sieve to remove the peppercorns and herbs and reserve.
To a large pan add the onion and sweat over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the stock, the reserved infused milk and the remainder of the thyme and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the artichokes are very tender.
Stir through the cream, take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Add a splash more stock or hot water to loosen if it seems a little too thick.
Squeeze in the lemon juice and check seasoning.
Scatter over the flaked haddock, returning the pan to the hob for a minute to heat through.
Serve steaming into bowls with plenty of crusty bread for mopping.
Remember that you can check out Laura’s Instagram for more inspiration.