Saturday, 27 July 2013

Potato and anchovy chowder with garlic prawns

When I first read this recipe (in a little book called "Whizz It") I was excited. I can eat anchovies from the jar. Love 'em. But I know they can be polarising. When I cook this soup for friends, I don't tell them what it is until they finish. The usual reaction is, "What? Anchovies? I hate them!" This is said as they look at their empty bowl. Needless to say, this is a firm favourite. Note, however, I usually double the anchovy quantity. It's up to you.

Serves 4


2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
16 green prawns, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 bacon rashers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
80g (one jar) of anchovies, drained on paper towel
1 carrot
3 biggish potatoes, peeled and chopped
375ml of chicken stock
250ml milk (use full-fat)
125 pouring cream (not thickened)
some extra chopped parsley for sprinkling on top


To make the garlic prawns, put the garlic, chilli and parlsey in a mortar and pestle and grind away, then add the olive oil until it makes a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the prawns and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low-medium heat.
Add the bacon, onion, celery and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Don't let anything brown.

Drain the anchovies and pat them dry with paper towels. Roughly chop and add to the bacon mixture. Add the carrot and potato and keep stirring. Cook for a few more minutes then add the milk and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it took for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. The get out your whizzer or hand-held stick blender thing, and whiz it up until it is smooth. Add the cream, parsley and some black ground pepper.

Heat a frying pan, add the prawns and cook them quickly, they only need 30 seconds per side. Be careful not to crowd the pan.

To serve, pile the prawns up in the centre of the bowl, ladle the soup around them, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Eat it all if you can, it doesn't keep that well.