Chowder is a thick soup, usually made with milk or cream that originates from New England in America. Cullen Skink is the Scottish version but wherever it’s from, it’s always comforting and delicious. Most smoked haddock chowder is usually made with potatoes, but as I can’t eat them, I decided to use cauliflower for that similar mouth feel. It’s a great substitute for potato when it’s mashed so it would work really well in this delicious soup. This Smoked Haddock Cauliflower Chowder is the ultimate in comfort food. Perfect for those cold winter lunches when you want something hearty and filling to keep you warm!
So on to the method. You start making the Smoked Haddock Cauliflower Chowder by heating the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. Then, thinly slice the leek and peel and crush the garlic. Add the sliced leek and crushed garlic to the melted butter and cook until softened but not browned. This should take around 5 minutes. Once the leek and garlic are softened, add the fish stock and allow to simmer while you prepare the cauliflower.
Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Steam the florets for around 5 mins until they become tender. Remove from the steamer and add them to the saucepan containing the leek, garlic and stock, and continue to simmer.
Meanwhile, heat up the almond milk and the bay leaf on high until the liquid starts bubbling. At this point, add the smoked haddock and then turn off the heat. Allow the fish to poach in the warm milk for around 5 mins until cooked through. (If the residual heat in the milk isn’t enough you can always turn the heat back on to cook the fish).
While the fish is cooking, add half of the leek, garlic, stock, cauliflower mixture to a food processor or blender. Blend the mixture until fairly smooth. Mash the remaining mixture roughly with a potato masher to break up any large chunks. Return the blended mixture to the saucepan with the mashed ingredients. You should have a half smooth, half chunky liquid. I think chowder is always better a bit chunkier which is why I only blend half the ingredients.
Next, remove the fish from the poaching milk and flake into large chunks. Remove the bay leaf and add the poaching milk to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Finally, stir through the chunks of smoked haddock. Try to keep them quite large rather than breaking them up too much! Season the whole dish well to taste with salt & pepper. Now it’s ready to serve warm, topped with some herbs for garnish and (optional) stir some cream through.
A final optional step (but one that I think makes all the difference) is to poach 4 eggs and top each bowl of chowder with one. Follow my foolproof guide to poaching eggs method! I love this extra step, because the yolk oozes out and mixes with the chowder creating an even richer stew. You can also serve with some toasted bread to mop up all that delicious flavour!
Allergy & Dietary Information for Smoked Haddock Cauliflower Chowder (Cauliflower Cullen Skink)
This recipe is Grainfree, Glutenfree & Refined-Sugarfree. It’s also suitable for SCD, Paleo, Low Carb & Pescatarian Diets.
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