Smoked Haddock and Leek Chowder

A Celtic dish historically originating in Scotland in the 1600s in a seaside town, Findon.

Chef Colin Lynch, Executive Chef, Menton, Boston, Mass.

Serves: 4 to 6 persons depending on bowl size

  • 2 lbs. Finnen Haddie (Cured and smoked dried haddock)
  • 1 small Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup salt pork cut, small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place the salt pork in a low medium hot 4 quart pot/stock pot.
  • Render the salt pork for 5 minutes or until most of the fat has melted.
  • Adjust the heat as necessary to avoid browning.
  • Then add celery, onion, and leeks to the pot and sweat for approx… 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Avoid browning.
  • Warm the milk and cream to room temperature.
  • When the onions, leeks and celery are soft and translucent, add the warm milk and cream and cook with a gentle simmer.
  • Lightly season the chowder with salt and pepper. Note: be careful and conservative with the salt aware that the smoked haddie will add additional salt to the dish.
  • Gently simmer the chowder for 5 minutes allowing the leeks, onions and pork to permeate the milk and cream.
  • Then, add the potatoes.
  • Adding potatoes in this order, allows the potatoes to absorb maximum flavor.
  • Continue to simmer the chowder until the potatoes are 80% cooked.
  • Then, turn off the chowder.
  • At this time, add large pieces of the haddock to the chowder. The skin should be left on; the residual heat will poach the fish for 8 to 10 minutes. Then gently remove the fish, flake the flesh from the skin being careful to totally remove the skin and return the flakes to the chowder.
  • Season to taste and serve garnished with finely chopped parsley.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

NOTE: It is not easy to find smoked haddock in the United States. You can substitute fresh haddock or cod with wonderful results. The only flavor missing would be the smoke flavor.