Ah January, when the cold of winter really kicks in and we look for warming dishes in these first few days of the year. It can be hard to get fresh fish in early January as the fishermen too need a break and the seas can be very rough at this time of year, so give them a thought as you tuck into a warming plate of fish and chips! We Scots like to party and Hogmanay is our gift to the world as a way of celebrating the New Year. Scotland is also unique in its fish vans. These vans travel through the country from the coastal ports selling fresh fish door to door. The people who own and run them usually have fishing connections of some kind, or have themselves been fishermen, so there are a lot of people who depend on the fishing industry in Scotland. So this year try to expand your repertoire a little and eat more fish. I plan to bring you simple recipes but using less usual fish, but all from Scottish waters, but do try on your visits to Argyll to sample the wide variety of fish available from all the Seafood Trail members.
However to start the year here is a classic east coast recipe, traditionally, using smoked haddock, but do try other smoked fish, such as whiting or hake. Another ingredient is the humble potato, it is traditional to peel it for this soup, to give a creamy colour, but try not peeling as all the nutrients of the potato are just under the skin, the final texture will still be smooth but there will be flecks of brown which I think makes it more rustic and better for you! Happy New Year!
500g pale smoked haddock fillets
1 medium onion peeled and sliced
750ml full fat milk
150 ml water
1 large potato roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
Recipe by Christopher Trotter
Food photography by Caroline Trotter