Fish Head Soup

Irene Sykes creates a cheap but perfectly delicious soup with haddock heads, turnips and carrots
Fish Head Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 6 haddock heads
  • 1 litres water
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • stalks parsley
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g flour
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • chopped parsley, to garnish


1. Rinse the fish heads thoroughly to remove all traces of blood. Put them in a pan with the water and slowly bring to the boil, skimming the surface as necessary to make a clear stock. Add the carrot, turnip, celery and parsley stalks, reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Keep an eye on the water level and top up as necessary. Strain the resulting liquid a good fish stock into a bowl and discard the vegetables, parsley stalks and fish heads.

2. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 2 minutes to cook out the raw taste. Gradually add the fish stock and milk. Bring to the boil, still stirring, and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. You can prepare the soup up to this stage in advance.

3. When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and beat 2 tablespoons of the hot soup into the egg yolk in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into the soup, stirring until it thickens. Do not let the soup boil or the egg will scramble. When the soup has thickened, add the cream and serve straight away with oatcakes or good brown bread.

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