This hearty chowder is packed with nutrients, tastes delicious and is really easy to make.
Use whatever cooked smoked fish you prefer – I used hickory smoked salmon but smoked whitefish or trout would also be good.
You can buy cartons of organic fish stock from Whole Foods and other good supermarkets. It also freezes well but I recommend adding the smoked fish after you’ve defrosted it, then heating it through gently.
BUTTERNUT CHOWDER WITH SMOKED FISH
Approx 1.5 lbs (750g) butternut squash
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
14 oz (400g) can of cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint (500ml) of really good fish or seafood stock
7 oz (195g) can of unsweetened sweetcorn in water, drained
The finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
10-11 oz (300g) of smoked fish, skinned and flaked into small pieces
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
A couple of tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut flesh with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the squash cut sides down in a roasting pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until they’re soft when squeezed – remove them from the oven and once cooled, scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon and set aside (you can do this ahead – just cover and chill until you’re ready to assemble the chowder.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan and gently cook the leeks and celery until they’re soft. Add the beans, fish stock, half of the sweetcorn, the lemon juice and zest and a pint (500ml) of water. Bring to a simmer then add the cooked butternut squash and stir well to combine and turn off the heat. Once it’s cool enough, puree the lot in a blender or use one of those hand blender things.
Return the chowder to the pan and add the smoked fish and remaining sweetcorn. Heat it through gently, check the seasoning, transfer to warmed soup bowls and scatter with chopped parsley to serve.