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Fiona’s Smoked Fish Chowder

photo of two fillets of smoked haddock ready for cooking in this chowder recipe

Photo: Two naturally smoked haddock fillets for our chowder recipe

We used smoked haddock as our fish of preference in this delicious chowder. It is a very forgiving dish and you can use most any fish. Either all smoked like this one or a mix of smoked and unsmoked if you want to achieve a balance that appeals to your taste.

Many fish chowder recipes require fish stock. Most people do not have it to hand and we are no exception. We created an instant fishy, smoky stock by lightly poaching the haddock to create a base stock for this soup and adding marigold and a touch of picante pimenton. It took minutes and worked really well.

Haddock is found in the north Atlantic and is quite a mild flavored fish. It is much loved in England, coated in batter and deep fried, served with fries for the famous “Fish and Chips”. Cod may be more popular but we prefer haddock.

It is important to use naturally smoked undyed fish because the ugly dye substances would ruin this chowder.

This photograph shows 6 fish. Haddock, bream, red mullet, mackerel, sardine, John Dory.

Photo: Picture of a haddock, a bream, a red mullet, a mackerel, a sardine and a John Dory

Know your fish.

Picture of a haddock and also bream, red mullet, mackerel, sardine, John Dory.

Probably the mackerel and sardine are not suitable for chowder because of their bony nature. But the others should work fine.

Photos in this article are (c) Can Stock Photo


Fiona’s Smoked Fish Chowder
Recipe Type: Starter or Main
Author: Fiona Nevile
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
Quick, tasty and filling version of a chowder using smoked haddock. Also how to make a simple fish stock method.
  • 30 g (1 ounce) butter
  • 1 medium onion medium diced
  • 464 g (1 pound) potatoes medium diced
  • 350 g (3/4 pound) of traditionally smoked raw haddock or cod
  • 1/4 tsp picante pimenton (Spanish hot smoked paprika. We use a great one from Barts)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon vegetable stock powder (we use Marigold)
  • pepper to taste – salt is optional – see above
  • For the Garnish Optional):
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) single cream
  • Generous handful of fresh chopped parsley
  1. Heat the butter, in a large saucepan, over a low heat.
  2. Add the onion and half of the potatoes.
  3. Stir well to coat all the vegetables with the butter.
  4. Sweat for 15 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Meanwhile, make your simple fish stock. Poach the fish in 800 ml (3.5 cups) of boiling water for a maximum of five minutes. That’s it!
  6. Remove fish with a slotted spoon
  7. Remove skin and flake with a fork.
  8. Carefully remove all bones and set the fish aside. The water should taste subtly fishy.
  9. Add the marigold powder and picante pimenton.
  10. When the onions and potatoes have softened add the fishy stock and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes (until the vegetables are soft).
  11. Cool a little and then liquidize and return to the saucepan.
  12. Add the remainder of the potatoes and simmer until soft(approx 5 mins), stirring occasionally.
  13. Finally, add the flaked fish, the cream and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper to taste.
  14. (optional) Danny topped the soup with a generous handful of
  15. his own fresh chopped parsley.

As this soup uses smoked fish, which is usually cured in salt first, adding salt may not be necessary.

I added a sprinkle of salt and pepper to my bowl. Danny didn’t bother.


  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello John

    Yes this is a good, tasty stock. Good luck with your experiments!

  2. john hopkinson

    Hi there:
    A fine fish stock that is, and I shall be working it up next week
    I have always reied on the stock made with the powders
    From the local fish store. I just spent 4 hours inventing one
    Of my own, but it is a watery mess compared to what I used to make.
    Thanks for the recipe. I shall keep you informed of my progress
    Take care and be good to Danny. A good man nowadays is hard to find.
    John Hopkinson on Dartmouth.

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