Salt cod and potato soup

Serves six
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Indy Lifestyle Online

At the restaurant we cure our own cod. Simply fillet and skin the fish, season with a tablespoon of sea salt per kilo, lay on a trivet and leave for 48 hours. Then bathe in cool water for two hours; the water needs to be changed twice. And there you have a delicate fillet that's ready to use. If you buy it from a Portuguese or Spanish delicatessen, it will have been salted over a much longer period of time, and needs to be soaked overnight before it is ready to use.

1kg/2lb potatoes
1kg/2lb well-rinsed salt cod
1 pint of milk
4 sprigs of lemon thyme
1 bay leaf
20 little plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
A second pint of whole milk
3 tbsp double cream
Plenty of freshly ground pepper

Peel and slice the potatoes into chunks, put in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and cook until tender enough to just pierce with a fork. Drain and set aside.

Pat-dry the cod and put in a saucepan as a whole piece. Cover with the milk, add the thyme and bay and place over a low heat for five minutes, or until the fish is no longer translucent. Drain and discard the milk.

When the fish is cool enough to handle, flake into chunks – this is easiest done using your fingers – and return to a clean pan. Add the whole tomatoes, garlic, potatoes and second pint of milk and place over a low heat for five minutes, then add the cream and plenty of pepper.

Taste and adjust the seasoning; if it is a little too salty, add a drop or two of lemon juice, and serve in warm bowls.