Chow for the chill


An old West Coast winter winner, smoked mussel and haddock chowder was enjoyed on nippy nights with soetsuurdeegbrood (salt-rising yeast bread).

Ingredients: 1 kg mussels in the shell, cleaned; 500 g haddock fillets cut into pieces; 2 large onions, diced; 4 potatoes, peeled & chopped; 1 large carrot, diced; 2 stalks celery, diced; 1 cup frozen peas; 2 bay leaves; 45 ml cake flour; 500 ml milk; 60 ml butter; 10 ml oil; 15 ml chicken stock powder; 45 ml tomato paste; 1 t salt; 1 t pepper; 3 T chopped parsley.

Melt the butter and oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes and celery and fry for a further 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Then stir in the milk, tomato paste and stock. Continue stirring until the mixture boils. Add the peas, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer covered until the potatoes are soft. Add the haddock and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Finally, add the mussels and parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Gather the family and tuck in.