Winter fish chowder with mussels

by Lesley Holdship

A hearty fish and shellfish soup

Make sure to check your mussels are alive before cooking them. Just give them a little tap with a knife or knock them on the work surface to see if they close back up, and discard any that don’t open during cooking. 


300g mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 good lump of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 King Edward potatoes, peeled and diced
500ml fish stock
300ml double cream
Sea salt and white pepper
250g sea bass fillet, skinned and cubed
150g undyed smoked haddock, skinned and cubed
Juice of ½ lemon


Heat a pan with about 2cm water. Tip in the mussels, clamp on the lid and cook for a few mins until the mussels have all opened. Remove from the heat, sieve the mussel flavoured liquor to remove any grit and keep to one side with the mussels while you make the chowder.

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic. Cook gently over a low heat until the onion is tender. Add the potatoes and stir around in the buttery juices.

Pour in the stock, cream and 300ml water, season then simmer for 15 mins. Add the fish and simmer for another 5 mins. Lastly, the mussels can go in with the mussel liquor, then a good squeeze of lemon to warm through.

Serve steaming hot with crusty bread spread thickly with butter.

Recipe: Lesley Holdship