Smoked Haddock and Prawn Chowder

Tucked away on the Blar Mhor Industrial Estate outside Fort William, this is the Crannog Seafood Shop.

It's linked to the Crannog Restaurant and other enterprises based in the town itself, as you can read on their website.

It is not a flash fish shop. And as you can see, the counter is bare.

Yet hidden away in the chill cabinet was some excellent smoked haddock, which even I managed to turn into a delicious meal by adapting Sophie Grigson's recipie.

It's so easy I thought I'd set it out here. It's from the book Soup Kitchen published by Collins.

1 chopped onion
30g butter
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 large carrots, rough chopped
2 celery stalks rough chopped
1 green pepper, seeded & cut into postage-stamp squares
2 medium potatoes, peeled & cut into 1cm cubes
30g plain flor
250g smoked haddock fillet cut into 2.5cm squares
110g peeled, cooked prawns
600ml milk
150ml water
a handfull of grated Cheddar to dress.

Fry the onion until soft. Add bay leaf, half the parsley, all the veg and stir. Sprinkle over the flour and some seasoning (lots of pepper) and stir for about a minute to distribute flour evenly.

Add 1/3 of the milk and stir. Then add the rest of the milk, the water and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Don't go check your e-mails or the milk will burn.

Turn the heat down very low to barely simmer for 30 mins until veg is tender, stirring to prevent burning. Add water if the mix seems too thick. Check seasoning - you might need a add more salt & peppers (I was amazed at how much this needed).

5 minutes before serving chuck in the haddock. 3 minutes before serving add the prawns.

Serve in large bowlfuls, sprinkled with remaining parsley and plenty of cheese, plus a hunk of brown bread. Utterly gorgeous!

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