Simon Rimmer’s comforting, creamy chowder is perfect for a cold autumn evening. Serve with crusty bread and lots of butter.
100g/3½oz streaky bacon, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 potato, peeled, diced
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 fresh bay leaf
1 litre/1¾ pints fish stock
150ml/5½fl oz double cream
250g/9oz hot smoked salmon, skin removed, flaked
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a frying pan until hot then fry the bacon for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Keep warm.
Heat the vegetable oil in the same frying pan and fry the onion and celery for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the potato, leeks, thyme and bay leaf and stir until well combined. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the stock. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Just before serving, stir in the cream and smoked salmon and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon, tomatoes and parsley.
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