Phil Vickery starts soup season with smoked haddock chowder and French onion soup

The autumn leaves are crunching underfoot which can mean only one thing... soup season is here! Phil's in the kitchen with two recipes that aren't called classics for nothing - a mouthwatering french onion soup and a wholesome creamy smoked haddock chowder.

Phil Vickery starts soup season with smoked haddock chowder and French onion soup

Smoked haddock chowder

Serves: 4

Ingredients

300ml full fat milk400ml water, roughly1 x 10g fish stock cube1 x 10g chicken stock cube400g (roughly) natural smoked haddock fillet on the skin2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped1 tbsp anchovy essence, optional2 tbsp plain flour2 tbsp (heaped) soft butterSalt and freshly ground black pepper4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley1 x 200g tin good quality sweetcorn, well drained100ml double cream, optional

Method

  • Place the milk, water and stock cubes into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer

  • Add the haddock fillet and gently poach for 2-3 minutes and then lift out with a slotted spoon and reserve

  • Add the potatoes, onions, garlic, anchovy essence and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked

  • Meanwhile flake the partially cooked fish off the skin, leaving in nice chunks

  • Once the potatoes are cooked, mix the flour and butter together and whisk, a little at a time, into the simmering potatoes and onions until nicely thickened. Once you’ve added it all cook for a further minute.

  • Using a potato masher, gently crush half the potatoes, this gives the soup a broth like texture

  • Season well, then add the parsley, sweet corn, cream, cooked haddock and stir through, simmer for 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

French onion soup

Serves: 4

Ingredients

6 tbsp olive oil8 medium onions, very finely sliced1 tbsp castor sugar3 cloves garlic, crushed200ml dry white wine600ml roughly strong beef stock, or canned consommé (can we get consommé, great talking piece)2 tbsp Worcester sauce4 long slices baguette, 1cm thick, no thicker100g grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese2 tbsp Brandy, optionalSalt and freshly ground black pepperChopped parsley, to serve

Method

  • Place the onions, oil, sugar, garlic into a pan and heat gently on the stove

  • Once sizzling, stir well, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to cook for 10 minutes so the onions take a little colour

  • Add the wine and reduce, then add the beef stock or consommé

  • Bring to the boil then add the Worcester sauce, salt, pepper and mix well

  • Place the lid on and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the onions are really tender. Be careful not to rapidly boil.

  • Meanwhile, toast the bread on both sides, then pile on grated cheese and grill until melted and golden

  • To serve, stir the Brandy into the soup and then ladle the soup into hot bowls

  • Top with the cheese crouton and sprinkle with chopped parsley

The chopping board used by Phil is from the Engraved Oak Company.