Creamy and smoky, this classic Scottish fish soup is great for cold winter nights.
20g/¾oz unsalted butter
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
100g/4oz leek, white only, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed then finely chopped
200g/7oz Ratte potatoes (or similar waxy potatoes), boiled until tender then peeled
2 Arbroath smokies, skin and bones removed
100ml/3½fl oz whole milk
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
For the fish stock, put the oil into a heavy saucepan and heat; then add the vegetables and stir well to coat with the oil. Cover and sweat over a low heat for about ten minutes; do not allow them to colour. Take the lid off the pan and pour in the white wine. Boil for one minute. Now add 1.2 litres/2 pints of water and the smokies. Bring up almost to the boil; then skim well. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Once cold, strain the stock through a very fine sieve, preferably lined with a double layer of muslin. (The stock can be made two days ahead and kept chilled until needed.)
To make the soup, put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and, when melted, add the shallots, leek and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes, but don't allow the vegetables to colour.
Add the cooked potatoes. Flake the smokies and add to the pan. Cover and sweat for a further two minutes, then add 1 litre/1¾ pints of the reserved stock and season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender and put on the lid. Take the stopper out of the hole in the lid and cover the hole with a tea towel to stop the hot mix splattering. Blend for a few seconds; then gradually add the milk and cream through the hole. When the milk and cream is all added and the mixture is smooth, pass through a fine sieve to give a fine, velvety texture.
To serve, pour the soup into a clean pan and heat gently. Flake the remaining smokie and divide among four warmed shallow bowls. Ladle in the soup and garnish with chopped chives.
Type the ingredients you want to use, then click Go. For better results you can use quotation marks around phrases (e.g. "chicken breast"). Alternatively you can search by chef, programme, cuisine, diet, or dish (e.g. Lasagne).