Spicy haddock-quinoa chowder


As sad as I am to say farewell to all those lovely summer salads (they just don’t taste quite the same when the weather turns), I’m equally happy to embrace some autumnal offerings – and in the Life and Chai household, that means soup!

This particular recipe has been a favourite for quite some time. It actually seems to cross the bridge between those last few warmish days of summer and the chillier bite of autumn. Its bright colour means it looks like sunshine in a bowl, while the heat of the chorizo and chilli add a warmth that will be most welcome in the months ahead.

The addition of quinoa adds a nice texture, and of course some extra nutrition. Chowders are traditionally thickened with potato, and you may add a couple if you like, but I haven’t added them here. The same goes for milk. Fish chowders normally have a milk base, but if you want to make a vegan version then I’ve tried this soup without and it still tastes great. The quinoa seems to add its own creaminess.

That said, I have added milk here. If you really wanted to throw caution and calories to the wind, and nice splodge of thick cream at the end would also be good.

I’ve used haddock, but any white fish would do. Smoked haddock will add even more flavour, but I’ve just gone for plain fish here as I couldn’t find any undyed haddock on my shopping trip (the bright yellow colour is from the turmeric, not any artificial dye!).

Haddock quinoa chowder


Approx 300g of haddock, plus enough milk to cover it in a pan
Sprig of time and 2 tsp black peppercorns
Half a cup of quinoa, soaked for 30 mins
150g corn kernels (cooked or fresh)
One onion
Two cloves garlic
Half teaspoon turmeric
Half teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
Approx two inch piece of chorizo, sliced thinly
Approx 750ml vegetable or fish stock (homemade is preferable, but if I don’t have any already made I use Kallo organic cubes or alternatively some Marogold Swiss Bouillon powder)
Handful of fresh parsley

Place the fish in a pan and cover well with milk. Add the peppercorns and thyme and lightly simmer until the fish is jut cooked. When cooled, separate the skin from the fish and discard the skin, and flake the flesh into good size pieces. Keep the cooking liquor to add to the soup.

In a large pan or wok, add the finely chopped onion, garlic and turmeric and fry in olive oil until soft. Add the finely hopped chorizo (and chilli powder if desired) and fry for a few minutes more. Pour in the stock and milk liquor, corn and quinoa and simmer for around 20 minutes.

NB: If you like a slightly thicker soup, add a couple of cooked mashed potatoes, or a tbsp of cornflour mixed with some of the soup liquid at this stage.

When the soup has reduced add in the flaked fish and heat through.
Finally add a few large handfuls of chopped parsley. You can also garnish with a few slices of fried chorizo to serve. Also add some thick cream at this stage if you wish.



I’ve added this dish to the popular Cooking with Herbs monthly challenge, hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs

19 thoughts on “Spicy haddock-quinoa chowder

  1. This looks so good. I booked marked it and will be fixing this for my husband. Visiting you from Wne’d Down Wednesdays.
    Love to see you join our Four Seasons Blog Hop.
    hope to see you there

  2. I LOVE quinoa and was fascinated to see it used a different way in this chowder recipe, which, looks amazing by the way! A FAB cooking with herbs entry – thanks so much! Karen

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