Irish fish chowder with soda bread
For the soda bread
- 200g/7oz wholemeal flour
- 275g/9¾oz strong white flour, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- 200ml/7fl oz buttermilk
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 tsp honey
For the chowder
- 1 large potato
- 250g/9oz un-dyed smoked haddock fillets, skin on
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 shallot, halved
- 650ml/22fl oz full-fat milk
- 30g/1oz unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 150g/5½oz sweetcorn kernels (thawed, if frozen)
- handful runner beans, sliced
- 6 scallops, sliced
- 12 steamed clams
- 200g/7oz pollock fillet, diced
- 150g/5½oz raw king prawns
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and flour a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
Combine the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
In a measuring jug, combine the buttermilk with the egg and honey.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and then pour in the wet mixture. Add a little extra flour if you find the dough is too wet and sticky.
Using a wooden spoon, bring the mix together to form a dough. Shape into a rough oval and place in the loaf tin.
Sprinkle a little flour on top and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Turn the loaf out on a wire rack to cool before slicing.
For the chowder, place the potato in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Cut the cooked potato into small pieces and set aside.
Place the smoked haddock, skin side up, in a pan with the bay leaf and shallot and cover with the milk. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes, then take off the heat and leave in the milk to finish cooking.
In a large pan, gently fry the onions in the butter until softened. Stir in the sliced garlic, cooked potato, sweetcorn, then add a handful of the sliced runner beans.
Lift the haddock out of the milk with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Peel away the skin and tear into pieces. Strain the milk through a sieve into the onion potato mixture and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the cooked haddock, sliced scallops, steamed clams, pollock and the prawns and warm through, then stir in the parsley and season with lots of black pepper.
To serve, ladle the chowder into bowls and serve with thick slices of soda bread.