Seafood chowder

There’s a soup I must introduce you to, for tasting on these nippy nights.

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I invented it last fall, when I was hungry for a fish chowder, but it took me a whole year to make it again because my husband (who in all other ways has impeccable taste, of course) was not crazy over it. He’s not a big seafood person.

When I made it again, it was even better than I remembered and all the kids loved it, so I grabbed my courage in both hands and clicked publish. At least, by the time you read this I will have clicked publish. I think.

(Just in case you are falling for that yarn: if this post were the one that took the most courage I’d be in clover. FYI.)

You can use whatever seafood you want. I picked three kinds for a variety of flavor and texture. And one disclaimer: it’s not the low-fat version. I often keep bacon drippings in my fridge, the fat left after frying bacon. It adds quick flavor to soups and veggies. You may skip that ingredient if you prefer, or add more of it (wink), or prepare real bacon bits to stir in.

Serve with good bread or toast, and a fresh green salad.

Seafood Chowder

Meat:
½ pound fish, cut in 1 inch cubes
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound scallops

Sauté in butter with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, and a generous shake of Old Bay seasoning. Do not drain.

Veggies:
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings (opt)
½ tsp. seasoned salt
2 cups chicken broth

Boil 5-10 minutes till tender. Do not drain.

Base:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup cream or half and half
½ tsp. salt
Additional pepper and Old Bay seasoning to taste
Parsley and thyme (fresh or dried) to taste

Melt butter; stir in flour. Gradually add milk and remaining ingredients to make a white sauce, stirring till smooth and thickened.

Stir all three mixtures together. Heat and serve.

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It’s a good soup to eat on the eve of a holiday, when all the family is gathering for the next day’s celebration.

What kind of soup do you like? My sister says this Red Lentil is awesome. Link a recipe here for me to try, or share it in your comment if you’re willing. I’d love to find a new favorite. Share the joy, pass the soup.

10 thoughts on “Seafood chowder

  1. That recipe looks a lot like my clam chowder… except I fry bacon and put real bacon pieces in! Hum! would like to try yours if it’s not too “fishy” !!!!

    • Yum. I don’t think it’s too fishy and I’m a little sensitive to that myself. I didn’t specify what fish I use, but I like tilapia – it’s a lot milder than most. Have fun trying! 🙂

  2. Our favorite comes from church friends, and we’ve made it ours by variations. I don’t have exact amounts. My apologies. 🙂
    Start with a base of cooked, cubed chicken and broth. We like thigh meat because it is so tender, but breast meat holds together a little better in the soup. If you use thigh meat, hold it out of the soup until you’re near the end of simmering. 2 cups of chicken is a nice amount. Season chicken with bouillon, some poultry seasoning, a dash of coriander and rosemary, and salt, and pepper to taste. My husband likes a little msg, too. 🙂
    Put in 2 sliced carrots, (rounds or thin, short slices) a stalk of celery, and some onion, and about two small handfuls of rice. Simmer til tender in the broth. Add chicken. At this point, the soup still needs more liquid.
    At this point, you decide if you want a brothy soup, or a milk soup. Usually, milk wins here, so near the end of simmering, I pour in milk until we have the right liquid to solids ratio. Often, I put in a big spoonful of sour cream or some velveeta or cream cheese. Cook on low until cheese or cream is melted. A few minutes before serving, if we have them, I slice several mushrooms and add them.
    Enjoy! If you like a Spanish twist, snip a bit of fresh cilantro into the soup.
    I’d love to try your recipe. It looks delicious!

  3. I was real excited to try this so We made it last night But We didn’t have fish so we used chicken breast and I’m allergic to shrimp so we substituted pork chop cubes and we can’t stand scallops so we tried lamb. It was amazing. Thanks for this wonderfully creative recipe. I also didn’t have bacon drippings and I didn’t think old bay fit in very well with my meat choices. Rice is also a better carb choice than potatoes so next time maybe you should use that instead. Thanks again for the great casserole.

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