What angel first paired smokey food and milk?  Comfort food of the highest order.  Chowder, an American soup from the east coast, has hundreds of iterations (I once sat with a cookbook devoted to chowder.  Totally ignored the friend who I hadn’t seen for about a year and her new home and hamsters, but I learnt a lot about chowder.  Sorry Becky).
If you can, use whole milk because you want that creaminess.  This is not the place for skimmed milk. The potatoes should be floury ones like maris pipers or king edwars- you want the potato to crumble in, so that you get the starchiness.
If you have time to cut the fat off the bacon and let it melt a little in the pan, then you’ll get more bacon-y flavour in the soup.  Yum.  Seriously – are you still cutting fat off bacon and frying it in olive oil?  STOP!  Snip off that cold fat (what is oil if not fat?) and pop it in the cold pan on a low heat and leeeeave it for about 15 mins.  That fat will, slowly, melt (“render”), and you can cook the onions and other veg for the soup in this fat.  And now you don’t have to buy more oil! So,you haven’t chucked good bacon fat AND you’ve not used unecesarry olive or sunflower oil, leaving it for another meal – so, that’s basically 2 food waste pitfalls avoided.  Win win!
In this chowder  I used basic veg, but you can add in sweetcorn, peas, diced pepper.  And even my kids eat this for heaven’s sake, so it’s a straight up win for me.  Whatever random bits of cold chicken, chorizo, veg -as long as it tastes good with the soup, it goes in.  Happy days!

Sausage and bacon chowder

Serves 4 modestly or 2 hungry hungry people


4 large potatoes
1 rasher bacon
2 cold sausages
2 eggs
200g cheese
Salt & pepper


Chopping board
Saucepan with a lid
Measuring jug
Wooden spoon


10m prep
40m cook


Little trickier


Optional: cut the fat off the bacon and place into a cool saucepan. Once it sizzles a little add some extra oil
Chop your veg
Crumble the sausage into small pieces


Once the fat is warm, add the onion and cook on a moderate (middle) heat for about 10m. You don’t want the onions to brown, you want them to go translucent and soft enough to be squashed by the back of your wooden spoon

When the onions are cooked, add your diced potato, carrot and celery. Season. Place the lid on

Turn the heat down a little so that the veggies ‘sweat’ and get a little soft. This takes around 10m

Now that the chopped veggies are ready, pour the milk over and bring to the boil

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PAN! Milk can boil over v quickly!

As soon as it’s boiling turn the pan down so it’s simmering (that is, little bubbles are popping up but it’s not boiling hard)

Timer on for 15m; keep checking the the veggies are done by pulling a couple out and checking if they are soft. Depending on how large/small you’ve cut them, this could take anything between 15 & 25m**

Add the crumbled meat, boil it through and serve with lots of buttered bread.

** If you’re making the soup in advance, turn the heat off and leave to cool. Do not add the meat. Store separately. When you’re ready to eat, heat the soup; as it comes to boil add the meat and let the soup boil for a minute or so, to make sure that the meat is fully hot. Do not reheat.

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