Sweetcorn & smoked haddock soup with soft-boiled eggs & coriander

Sweetcorn & smoked haddock soup with soft-boiled eggs & coriander

Andrew Montgomery

I once ate a smoked fish soup in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland. You could hear the wild Atlantic Sea from where I sat, in a small pub off the beach. The flavour and simplicity of the soup remain with me, even though it was many years ago. It was all burnt oak and cream and texture and warmth. There was sweetcorn, and generous chunks of locally smoked fish – and lots of spinach. Although I have never been able to recreate it, this smoked fish soup is simple, inspired by that Connemara lunch. Be really big-hearted with the corn, as it brings a sweetness that works so well with the salty, smoky fish. If you like coriander as much as I do, add it freshly chopped by the handful, and take this soup in a new direction.


Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 knob butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 large corn-on-the-cobs
or 2 small corn-on-the-cobs
400ml vegetable or fish stock
150ml double cream
200g naturally smoked haddock or pollack, skinned, boned and cut into slices
1 large bunch coriander, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the eggs and boil for 6½ minutes so that the yolk will be soft, but not runny. Remove the pan from the heat, drain away the hot water and cover the eggs with cold water to stop them cooking further. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. When it’s bubbling, add the leek and garlic. Fry gently for 10–12 minutes, until the leek and garlic are soft but not coloured. Cut the corn kernels from the cob (or cobs), then add the kernels to the pan along with the stock. Bring up to a simmer and cook for a further 10–12 minutes. Add the cream and bring the contents of the pan back up to a simmer. Then, add the fish and the chopped coriander and simmer for 2–3 minutes more, until the fish is lightly cooked. Then, remove the pan from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Peel the eggs and halve them, then place them, cut side up on the surface of the soup, allowing them 1–2 minutes to heat through.
  4. Ladle the soup into four bowls, making sure that everyone gets two egg halves. Finish with a scattering of fresh coriander leaves and serve straight away.
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