Fish Chowder with Merrydown Vintage

Fish Chowder with Merrydown Vintage

Thanks to the Fuss Free Foodie for her latest creation with Merrydown Vintage!

Serves 3-4


  • 85g shallots or onion, finely diced
  • 20g butter
  • 285g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 200ml veg stock
  • 200ml Merrydown Vintage Original cider
  • 250g mussels, debearded and cleaned
  • 2 corn on the cob, corn sliced off the cob (retain cobs)
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g cod fillet, cut into large chunks
  • 150g haddock tails, cut into large chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper

Crispy cayenne leek garnish

  • 25g leeks, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 4-5 tbsps. oil for frying

Optional Soup thickener

  • 15g plain flour
  • 15g butter
  1. Place the cider and stock into a medium sized pan and bring the liquid to the boil. Add the mussels and cook them on a high heat with the lid on for a few minutes or until all the mussels are open.
  2. Remove the mussels from the pan and set them aside and place the corn cobs into the pan and simmer to extract the flavour.
  3. Meanwhile, add 20g of butter to a large pan and melt on a gentle heat. Add the onion/shallot and sweat for 6-8 minutes until they are translucent and soft. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Remove the corn cobs from the stock pan and sieve the liquid into the onions. (Do not add the last 2 tablespoons in case gritty from the mussels).
  5. Add in the diced potatoes and bay leaves. Simmer for 5-8 minutes with the lid on until almost cooked and soft to the touch.
  6. Pour in the milk, cream, sweetcorn and season with white pepper and salt. Warm the chowder for 2 minutes.
  7. Take 3-4 ladles of the chowder out of the pan and blitz it with a stick blender or food processer until smooth. This will give your chowder a thick, velvety texture. Be mindful not to blitz the bay leaves! Then add the blended chowder back into the pan and stir and set aside on minimal heat.
  8. Prepare a frying pan with the oil and heat on a medium to high temperature ready to fry the leek garnish. Place the leeks into a bowl and add the flour, cayenne and garlic salt. Rub the leeks into the seasoning and when the oil is hot drop the leeks in to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. It’s best to do this in 2 batches. Set the leeks aside to drain on kitchen roll. Retain the spiced oil for later.
  9. When you are ready to finish the chowder. Bring it back up to a gentle simmer. Check the seasoning at this point and adjust if needed. Remove the bay leaves and add the fish to the chowder. Depending on the thickness of the fish it will only take a short time to cook, just 3 or 4 minutes. Add in the mussels and warm through for a minute.
  10. Ladle the chowder into some warmed bowls. Sprinkle with the leek garnish and a little of the cayenne oil.

Fuss Free Tips!

  • It’s is best to cook the fish slightly under (looking translucent) as it will cook on in the chowder. It should take a few minutes. It should feel firm to the touch but not hard. Just keep an eye on it!
  • If you want to prepare this ahead of time, you can, just prep up until stage 8. When you are ready to eat, start again on number 9.
  • If your chowder is not thick enough, rub together 15g of butter and 15g of plain flour to make almost a dough/paste. Drop little lumps of this into the chowder and it will make it rich and thick.
  • Feel free to use a can of tinned corn to make life more fuss free!

Click here to watch on youtube. Alternatively, click here to have a look at other recipes by The Fuss Free Foodie involving ciders from our members!