You really need a blender for this tasty, creamy soup. It is very cheap to make because you only need to use coley, almost the cheapest of fish, for the basis of it I think it is worth getting a few peeled prawns to add at the end. If by any chance you have an enterprising greengrocer, fresh coriander leaves, chopped up and thrown on at the last minute are a very special addition.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Add the chopped coley fillets and stir so that the fish is coated with butter. Stir in the flour. Heat the milk and chicken stock and stir into the fish mixture. Bring to the boil, add curry powder, salt and pepper to taste and simmer, stirring often, for 15–20 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Cool slightly and then whizz it all up, until smooth and creamy, in the blender. Add the cream and the prawns, check for seasoning, and either re-heat carefully or serve chilled.
You can make a more Mediterranean version of this soup by adding a pinch of saffron and a clove of crushed garlic instead of the curry powder.
© 1976 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.