Smoked haddock and leek broth with poached quail’s eggs

Smoked haddock and leek broth with poached quail’s eggs

By
From
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Smoked haddock and leeks make a really great tasting soup. This is quite similar to a Cullen skink except that I’ve added some poached quail’s eggs to it. I have a little trick of the trade here as you are probably wondering how the hell are you going to poach quail’s eggs. You can use either Arbroath smokies (hot-smoked haddock) or natural smoked haddock.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 leeks, trimmed
40g butter
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 litre fish stock, hot
200g natural smoked haddock
200ml milk
12 quail’s eggs
100ml white wine vinegar
salt
freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
60ml double cream

Method

  1. Roughly chop one of the leeks, cut the other into rough 1 cm dice and wash both thoroughly, keeping them separate.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the chopped leek with the fennel seeds. Cook gently until softened, without colouring. Stir in the flour, then gradually add the hot fish stock, stirring well. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, poach the smoked haddock in enough milk to cover in a small pan for 3–4 minutes. Drain over a bowl, reserving the milk. Add this poaching liquor to the soup along with a third of the haddock. Take off the heat.
  4. Purée the soup in a blender until very smooth, then strain it through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan.
  5. To poach the quail’s eggs, bring a pan of water to the boil and have a bowl of cold water ready. Pour the wine vinegar into another bowl and carefully crack all the quail’s eggs into it, using a small sharp knife to crack open the shells.
  6. Now tip the quail’s eggs and vinegar into the pan of simmering water. The eggs will separate and set. Poach for 1 minute, then carefully remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl of cold water.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the diced leek in a little boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes until tender, then drain.
  8. Flake the rest of the smoked haddock and add to the soup with the leek and chopped parsley. Bring to a simmer, stir in the cream and check the seasoning.
  9. Place 2 or 3 poached quail’s eggs in each warmed soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over them to serve.
Tags:
Hix Oyster & Chop House
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