With St. Patrick's Day nearly upon us, our minds often turn to corned beef and cabbage. This recipe was inspired by that tradition, but swaps out the corned beef in favor of smoked fish in a richly satisfying savory stock.
In Ireland, they like to smoke mackerel, whitefish, salmon and haddock. Smoked haddock actually originates in Scotland, but the Irish have pulled it into the family circle.
My cabbage of choice here is either Napa or savoy. Both are relatively light with a delicate texture. Of course, regular green cabbage also works, as will red cabbage (assuming you don't mind a pink soup), but be careful not to overcook whichever cabbage is in the pot.
Now on to the potatoes and leeks. In this recipe, the potatoes absorb the smokiness of the fish and provide bulk. The leeks add a distinct and subtle flavor. You can swap in onions, the leek's ubiquitous cousin, if you have trouble finding leeks.
The liquid is a combination of low-fat milk and chicken stock. Why chicken stock? Because I've never found a commercial fish stock to my taste. Likewise, I'm no fan of commercial clam juices. In any case, the liquid requires some kind of stock because soups made only with dairy are too rich for me.
Add a tossed salad and a pint of Guinness, and you can call it a meal.