Serves 6

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 large pinches curry powder
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 900g sustainable smoked haddock fillet (preferably oak-smoked), skinned and cut into 2cm cubes
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Squeeze lemon juice, plus extra to serve

For the garnish

  • 80g spinach, chopped
  • 100g smoked haddock fillet (as above), cut into small cubes
  • A few fresh coriander stalks, leaves finely chopped
  • Finely chopped fresh chives


Heat the butter in a large pan on a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms. Fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and saffron, then cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Pour in the de-alcoholised whisky, the milk and 600ml water, bring to the boil, then add the diced haddock. Bring back to the boil for 2 minutes, then skim off any impurities that have collected on the surface. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning with cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice (you probably won’t need any salt, as smoked haddock is quite salty). Leave the soup to cool down a little.

Blend the soup well in a liquidiser, then either pass through a fine sieve (discard anything that won’t pass through) or leave it as it is – see tips. Give the soup a final taste for seasoning, then tip into a medium saucepan over a medium heat to warm it up again – it should be served piping hot (see tips).

Put the spinach in a small saucepan. Add 50ml water and a pinch of salt. Cover and put over a high heat, bringing the water to a galloping boil for 1 minute. Drain and press out the water, then divide the spinach among the soup bowls.

Add the haddock cubes to the soup bowls, stir the coriander through the soup, then ladle into the bowls. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.