Happiness is smoked haddock chowder. The smell and taste bring back some of my earliest childhood memories: a treat lunch at The Place to Eat on the top floor of John Lewis in Edinburgh, big glass windows with views down over Leith and over the Firth of Forth to Fife. I remember the smoky fish, the luxurious creaminess of the broth and the sweetness of the sweetcorn, and even when I went off fish later on, the smell of a smoked haddock chowder would always bring back happy memories.
Now that I'm well and truly back on the fish, I decided to pop in to my local fishmongers, the amazing Steve Hatt on Essex Road, and pick up smoked haddock for that purpose. I using this Channel 4 recipe as a basis, but upped the celery as I had quite a bit of that in already and I never get through it quick enough.
Making the soup was very easy, and the most fun bit was boiling the smoked haddock in the milk, which produced this amazing creamy, smoky milk foam that I couldn't resist dipping my finger in. MMMMmmm.
The soup was absolutely wonderful - it tasted just like it used to, so creamy and rich but not too heavy going. I thought the addition of extra celery worked well and would like to try it with fennel next time for some extra depth of flavour.