Seafood chowder with potato and basil
* 25g butter
* 1 large onion, about 300g, finely chopped
* 1 stick celery
* 90g button mushrooms, sliced
* 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
* 3 tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice
* 1 tbsp tomato purÃ©e
* pinch of saffron, (optional)
* 1 litre fish or chicken stock
* black pepper
* 450 g mixed fresh fish fillets, such as hake, prawns and salmon, cut into 1cm dice
* 125ml whipping cream, (optional)
* 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, to garnish
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion, celery and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the potato, tomatoes, tomato purÃ©e, saffron and stock, and a little salt to taste. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
3. Transfer half the mixture into a food processor and process to a purÃ©e, then return it to the pan and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. Bring back to the boil, then add the diced fish. Stir in most of the cream, if you are using, reserving a few spoonfuls for the final presentation. When the chowder has returned to the boil, remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes.