Crusty bread is essential when tucking in to Debbie Major's hearty chowder recipe made using Jersey milk, smoked bacon, butter beans and leeks.
350g leeks, thickly sliced
200g British free-range smoked bacon lardons/strips
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 litre Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk
2 bay leaves
50g plain flour
200ml good quality chicken stock
2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
100ml single or double cream
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
01.Melt half the butter in a large pan. Add the sliced leeks, stir well to coat with butter and season lightly. Cover and cook gently for 3 minutes until just tender and still bright green. Tip the leeks into a bowl and set aside.
02.Return the pan to a medium heat, add the bacon lardons and oil, then fry gently until the lardons have released some of their fat. Increase the heat to high and fry a little more briskly until lightly golden. Add the rest of the butter and the onion to the pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is soft but not browned. Meanwhile, gently heat the milk and bay leaves together in a separate pan.
03.Stir the flour into the bacon and onions, then cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock, then stir in the warm milk and bring almost to the boil. Add the butter beans and season to taste, then simmer for 5 minutes.
04.Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the leeks and cream, then bring back to a simmer. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve in bowls with fresh homemade bread.