Smoked haddock soup with fresh herbs and spinach

  • Serves 6
  • Hands-on time 45 min
  • Easy
Raymond Blanc’s Scottish-inspired soup recipe is full of hearty, smoky and heady flavours.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories332kcals
  • Fat10.6g (5.8g saturated)
  • Protein43.6g
  • Carbohydrates6.3g (5.6g sugars)
  • Fibre1.5g
  • Salt4.4g
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  • 100ml Scotch whisky (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 large pinches curry powder
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 900g sustainable smoked haddock fillet (preferably oak-smoked), skinned and cut into 2cm cubes
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Squeeze lemon juice, plus extra to serve

For the garnish

  • 80g spinach, chopped
  • 100g smoked haddock fillet (as above), cut into small cubes
  • A few fresh coriander stalks, leaves finely chopped
  • Finely chopped fresh chives


  1. Boil the whisky in a small pan for 30 seconds. If you’re using a gas flame, carefully tip the pan so the whisky catches fire, then let it flame to remove most of the alcohol. If you don’t have a gas flame, you can light the pan with a long taper or match. If it doesn’t go out after a minute or so, put a lid on to kill the flame. 
  2. Heat the butter in a large pan on a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms. Fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and saffron, then cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Pour in the de-alcoholised whisky, the milk and 600ml water, bring to the boil, then add the diced haddock. Bring back to the boil for 2 minutes, then skim off any impurities that have collected on the surface. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning with cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice (you probably won’t need any salt, as smoked haddock is quite salty). Leave the soup to cool down a little. 
  4. Blend the soup well in a liquidiser, then either pass through a fine sieve (discard anything that won’t pass through) or leave it as it is – see tips. Give the soup a final taste for seasoning, then tip into a medium saucepan over a medium heat to warm it up again – it should be served piping hot (see tips).
  5. Put the spinach in a small saucepan. Add 50ml water and a pinch of salt. Cover and put over a high heat, bringing the water to a galloping boil for 1 minute. Drain and press out the water, then divide the spinach among the soup bowls. 
  6. Add the haddock cubes to the soup bowls, stir the coriander through the soup, then ladle into the bowls. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

  • Passing the soup through a fine sieve after blending makes it ultra-smooth and light – push it through using the back of a ladle – but you’ll have to discard what’s left in the sieve. If you don’t want to discard the fish, blend the soup well in a liquidiser, then serve without sieving. It’ll have a thicker texture but will still taste great.
    Make sure your soup is piping hot when it’s served – the heat gently cooks the smoked haddock cubes in the garnish so they poach perfectly.
  • A lightly oaked, creamy white burgundy is best.

From March 2015

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