I love creamy soups. I love seafood. So playing around with a few recipes to come up with a seafood chowder was just plain fun.
As hard as I tried to not use bacon, that smoky flavour is just part of what I like about a good chowder. It does not however require jugs and jugs of cream to make a good chowder. When you look at older recipes for fish chowder or seafood chowder, you will often find they call for evaporated milk rather than cream, and that is because it was often easier to get (it keeps, right!) than regular milk in places like Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. I started by using a recipe of my Mother-in-law’s for Fish Chowder from an old Newfoundland cookbook.
We have since grown from there (since a bowl full of cod and potatoes with evaporated milk isn’t really what I had in mind when I think about chowder)…Here is what I finally came up with:
Vancouver Island Seafood Chowder for 6-8
3 strips of bacon diced
3 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup (125ml) yellow onion diced
2 small leeks, sliced (white and light green parts)
Cook bacon on medium heat until just crisp. Add butter, onions and leeks. Cook on medium until soft (3-4 minutes).
2 cups diced red potatoes (not peeled!)
2 medium carrots. peeled and diced
2 tsp salt flakes (I use Maldon)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
3 cups fish/seafood stock or 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup clam nectar (reserved from canned clams)
Bring to a boil over medium heat, let simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Add: 2 cups whole milk, heat through, stirring well.
1/2 lb (approx 250g) of white fish (halibut or pacific cod) cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2lb (approx 250g) wild salmon (either fresh or smoked…If you opted not to use bacon earlier, you would be good to add smoked salmon here)
3 large scallops, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup shrimp meat or 1 14 oz can of clams (I use St Jean’s), chopping up any large ones.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat through, being careful not to overcook.
Garnish with 2 TBSP chopped roasted red pepper and 1/4 cup chopped herbs (chives or parsley or scallions).
Serve with good bread or homemade biscuits or, all by itself!
|Vancouver Island Seafood Chowder
I had fun checking out other seafood chowders, and I am sure you will too!