Scallop broth with Cornish earlies

Serves 4

Cornish early potatoes just about pip the Jersey Royals to the post when it comes to new season potatoes. They are both very different from each other but their appearance is a sure sign that spring is almost with us.

This soup uses all the bits of scallop that normally end up in the bin; scallop is an expensive shellfish and there should be very little waste. The skirt surrounding the eye of meat gives the base of the soup a great flavour.

4 large scallops, cleaned and skirt (frills) removed, reserved
1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed
A couple of good knobs of butter
300-400g Cornish earlies or new potatoes, cleaned and peeled
1 litre fish stock
2tbsp chopped parsley
2tbsp double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash the skirts of the scallops well under running cold water until there is no grit. Meanwhile gently cook the leeks in the butter for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often, without colouring.

Roughly chop half of the potatoes and add to the pan with the scallop skirts and stock. Bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for 20 minutes then blend in a liquidiser until smooth then strain through a fine-meshed sieve and return to a clean pan.

Cut the remaining potatoes into 1cm chunks; add to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes or until they are cooked. Cut the scallop meat and roes into similar-sized pieces and add to the soup with the parsley and cream; simmer for a minute and re-season if necessary. Serve immediately.

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