Fish chowder with cockles, cod and laverbread
Use cost-effective, sustainable fish to create a creamy, hearty soup that’s like a hug in a bread bowl.
- 5 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 200g/7oz cooked sweetcorn
- 2 tbsp plain four
- 1kg/2lb 4oz new potatoes, cut in half
- 1.5 litres/2¾ pints chicken stock
- 1.5kg/3lb 5oz line caught cod, or a firm fleshed white fish, deboned and skinned, chopped into chunks
- 500g/1lb 2oz cockle meat
- 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- finely chopped chervil
- finely chopped chives
- 4 large crusty white rolls, top removed, bread hollowed out
- 4 tsbsp lava bread
Fry the bacon in a casserole dish placed over a medium heat for 5 minutes, or until brown and crispy and the fat has rendered out. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion, leek, thyme and bay leaves and sauté over a low heat for 6–8 minutes, until the onions have softened but not coloured. Add the flour and mix well. Slowly add the stock, about 100ml/3½fl oz at a time, stirring out any lumps.
Add the potatoes and sweetcorn, topping up the pan with water to cover the vegetables, if necessary. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft on the outside but still a little firm in the centre.
Reduce the heat to low, add the cod and cockles and cook for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. (The fish will finish cooking during this time).
Gently stir in the cream, being careful not to break up the fish.
To serve, fill the bread bowls with the chowder and top with the herbs and a heaped spoon of laverbread.