Smoked haddock & onion soup

How often do you put fish or seafood to the table? I admit not as often as I would like. Here is a little something I liked and wanted to share with you: smoked haddock and onion soup.

Unlike Greece where you have your neighbourhood fishmonger to rely on for a fresh catch on the day, here in London I am heavily relied on supermarket shelves. The selection if not disappointing, is certainly limiting. It’s salmon and cod, perhaps  a nice seabass. I’m yet to discover a fishmonger to call my own. Although I did find one who, to my delight, he keeps a steady stream of octopus. The downside is that it comes straight from Australia and I’m trying to put as less food miles on my table as possible.

There are  some ubiquitous cuts readily available on supermarkets shelves and I’m making the most of them. A lemon sole or a seabass who can very quickly make a wholesome meal.  What has grabbed my attention and I’m making the most of it is smoked fish.

 Yes, it can be salmon which doesn’t come with an extravagant price tag like back home. There is also a selection of wonderful cured and smoked fish like cod or mackerel, whose flakes find their way on top of salads.

For seafood inspiration, I’m leafing through books. One is Rick Stein’s, English Seafood Cookery, which is a delight if you are into knowing a little bit more of local fish and seafood market as well as how to enjoy it. I also have in my possession the tiniest and loveliest of books, Sophie’s table from Sophie Grigson. One of the Penguin’s 60S, this tiny book numbers no more than 60 pages, the format literally pocket size, certainly smaller than smart phone but richer than anything on the shelves. It’s my go to when stuck for inspiration and feel like something a little different. The recipe collection is part of the book Eat Your Greens.

This soup is very similar to the Scottish Cullen Skink, only the ratio of potatoes/onions has tipped to the  favour the latter and unlike the popular chowder, this is a velvety smooth soup. Let’s have a soup, smoked haddock and onion soup.

Smoked Haddock & Onion Soup

  • 250 g smoked haddock (skinned and chopped)
  • ½ kg onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 45 g butter
  • ¾ lt milk
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a large pan, large enough to hold all your ingredients.
  2. Add the onion, whole garlic cloves and thyme, stir and cover.
  3. Cook over a very gentle heat util the onions are meltingly tender, approx. 30 minutes, even better if cooked really gently for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the haddock to the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the milk, add a little salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  6. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1o minutes. Ready to liquidize!
  7. This is quite a thick soup, add a little extra milk if you prefer it a little thinner.

A recipe by Sophie Grigson, from the book Sophie’s table.

from London with love,


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