Smoked haddock soup with poached egg and pancetta

Smoked haddock soup with poached egg and pancetta

Everyday Seafood
4 as a hearty starter or light lunch

Smoked haddock makes such a lovely, comforting soup. It marries perfectly with egg and bacon in this hearty chowder for a nourishing lunch or supper, or even brunch, if you fancy. It’s worth buying really good quality smoked haddock – avoid that cheap, bright yellow dyed stuff.


Quantity Ingredient
600g smoked haddock fillet, skinned, pin-boned and diced, (trimmings saved)
200ml see method for ingredients
200ml milk
100ml double cream
olive oil, for cooking and to drizzle
2 white onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, de-stringed (with a peeler) and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
6 thin slices pancetta
100ml white wine vinegar
4 large eggs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour the fish stock, milk and cream into a saucepan and add the smoked haddock trimmings. Bring to the boil and then take off the heat.
  2. Place another large saucepan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. When hot, add the onions, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, then stir in the diced potato. Strain the creamy milk and stock mixture over the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 8–10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Let cool slightly then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to high and lay the pancetta on a grill tray. Bring a large pan of water to a simmer with the wine vinegar added.
  4. Place the pancetta under the grill and cook until crispy. Carefully crack the eggs into the simmering water. (There is no need to stir the water – if your eggs are fresh they will form a nice shape instantly.) Poach the eggs for 3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, add the smoked haddock to the soup and cook gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if you wish.
  6. Cut the grilled pancetta in half. When the poached eggs are ready, drain them on kitchen paper.
  7. Share the soup equally between 4 warmed bowls. Place a poached egg in each bowl, season with pepper and surround with the crispy pancetta. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and serve straight away.
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