Hello there, friends! This is going to be a quick one – I’ve been laid out for six days oozing green fluids and drifting in and out of consciousness.

Cooking has been a distant memory. I have no appetite and it’s probably not safe for me to pick up a knife. I’ve lulled between hazy worlds watching Johnny eat out of bags and cans, truly unable to do anything about it. Luckily, I have a little stockpile of this chowder kicking in the freezer. Yay me!

This is such a satisfying winter meal (although that cold weather is staying at bay), keep it on hand for dinner emergencies… we all know there will eventually be one.

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CREAMY FISH & CLAM CHOWDER

serves 4 – 6

Yes, there is cream in this recipe, but it is so chock full of other goodies, I think it’s a fair balance. I don’t thicken this with flour or cornstarch, it is pretty thick already once all the veg cook down and the cream goes in. If you like your chowder sticking to your spoon, then sprinkle in 2 tbsp of flour before you add the stock and cook a minute or so.

I use sweet potato or yam here, I am not a fan, but it has some great health benefits and adds a really interesting level of flavour. If you are steadfast against it, simply substitute a regular potato. Chuck in some other root veg, if you please – celeriac, parsnips, squash – whatever you like, that’s the beauty of soup.

 

1 tbsp each butter and olive oil -or- 2 tbsp oil

2 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 celery ribs, thinly sliced

3 medium carrots, halved down the middle lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 sweet bell pepper (red, green, yellow or orange all work well), diced

1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp dried thyme -or- 1 small bunch fresh thyme

salt and pepper

4 cups vegetable or fish stock

2 x 142 gram cans baby clams

500 grams mix of skinless de-boned white fish (sole, tilapia, cod, pollock, halibut etc.) and salmon or trout

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

a small bunch of fresh parsley, tarragon and/or dill, roughly chopped

 

Heat a large pot with lid over medium/high heat and add the butter and oil. Tip in the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bell pepper, potato, bay leaves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 7 – 10 minutes until the veg begins to soften.

Add the stock and turn up the heat to boil – if the stock doesn’t cover the veg, then add some more or water until it is just submerged. Cover and reduce to medium/low, simmering for 40 – 45 minutes, until the veg is tender.

Remove the bay leaves and stems from the thyme (if you were using fresh). Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if needed.

Turn up the heat to medium/high and add the clams and their juices. Once your chowder is simmering a little more vigorously, add the chunks of fish to poach for 5 – 7 minutes, until they are opaque, they will continue to cook. Add the cream and combine until just heated through, not boiling, then remove from heat.

Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with some crusty bread, croutons or crackers.

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