Traditionally, chowders are rich and creamy, but by using semi-skimmed milk and stock as the base, you cut down on both the fat and calorie content and allow the flavour of the fish to really come through.
That said, it's important not to overcook the smoked haddock, or it has a tendency to impart a slightly harsh aftertaste. Lift the fillets out of the pan when they are still nice and moist and you will be fine.
Turmeric has long been prized for its medicinal value, for the most part thanks to its impressive anti-inflammatory properties; the spice also adds an interesting edge to what might otherwise be a rather plain (albeit comforting) dish.
Fold in the baby spinach at the last minute, to add colour and texture to the dish as well as a dose of iron and potassium. Spinach also contains lycopene, lutein and beta carotene and vitamins A, E and C. By cooking the leaves only briefly, you prevent these all important nutrients from being lost.
Spiced smoked haddock chowder (Serves 2)
200g undyed smoked haddock fillets
3 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
250ml semi-skimmed milk
350ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 leeks, thinly sliced
tsp cumin seeds
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
120g baby spinach
Place the fish (skin-side down), black peppercorns and bay leaf in a large, shallow pan and pour over the milk and stock, making sure the fish is completely covered.
Bring the contents of the pan to a gentle simmer and cook for six to eight minutes, until the fish is just starting to flake into pieces at the thickest part. Lift out the fish and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve and discard the bay leaf and peppercorns.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
Increase the heat slightly, add the cumin seeds and turmeric and fry until the seeds start to sizzle and smell aromatic.
Stir in the potatoes, then pour over the strained poaching liquid. Season with black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
Flake the haddock into pieces and add to the pan, along with the baby spinach. Cook for two to three minutes more, before spooning the soup into shallow bowls and serving.
Nutritional information per serving (300g) healthy smoked haddock chowder
Calories from fat: 27
Total fat: 3g
Total carbohydrates: 18g