Orkney Cheese chowder 

The secret of this delicious chowder is to add the chunks of cheese just before serving. If you reheat it with all the cheese added it’s a sticky eat indeed. In Orkney we eat this with oatcakes but crusty bread is good for mopping the bowl. 

Serves 4 

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2 medium onions 

1 carrot 

1 stick celery 

1 tbsp olive oil 

Pinch of chilli flakes 

1/2 tsp cumin seeds 

200-250g potato 

400g can chopped tomatoes 

500ml Orkney milk, approx 

200g Orkney Cheddar 

Freshly chopped chives or parsley to garnish 

Oatcakes or crusty bread to serve 

Cooking instructions

Peel and prepare the veg: cut the onion into 1cm wedges, the carrot into small dice and the celery into slices. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the prepared veg with the spices, stir, cover and cook slowly for 8-10 mins. Stir occasionally and, meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm dice. 

Add the potato to the softened veg with the chopped tomatoes. Rinse the can out with milk and add that too with a little extra, as necessary, to cover the veg. Season with salt and pepper then bring to the boil and simmer, partly covered, for 10-15 minutes, until the potato is cooked. 

Grate half of the cheese and chop the remainder into 1cm dice. Add the grated cheese to the chowder once the potato is cooked then add more salt and pepper if necessary. Finally and just before serving add the chopped Orkney Cheddar and stir to start it melting. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives or parsley. 

Cook’s note: If this makes more than you will use in one sitting, add some of the chopped cheese to the individual bowls of chowder and keep the remainder to add to your next helpings when the chowder has been reheated.