Recipe: Light & Easy Seafood Chowder

Goodness sake,  it’s April 19th and it still doesn’t feel like Spring yet!  I’m still in “warm and filling” mode, for my weekly soup creations.

When I was deciding what to make this week, an old favorite came to mind:  this intensely flavorful chowder that gets all steamy and fragrant, but that’s super easy to make. If that’s not enough, it’s a LOT lighter than most chowders — no butter, flour or cream.

Fish Chowder cropped

Years ago, I used to make a version of this chowder, but now I wanted to update it using my own products as seasoning.  I found *just* the thing:  a hearty dose of “Back in the Bayou” for heat, color and taste, and some of my “Kitchen Campfire” smoked sea salt to reproduce the smokiness that bacon often brings to chowders.

Note on the seafood combinations:  really, you can use whatever combo you want. In this particular batch, I used cod, baby clams, bay scallops and medium shrimp, but you could sub your own favorites and just follow the recipe for the techniques.

Ready to dive in?

Ingredients (makes 5 quarts or 10 servings)

3 T olive oil
2 cups onion, finely diced
4 ribs celery, finely diced (keep the leaves for a garnish)
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (small)
3/4 tsp Kitchen Campfire Smoked Salt
2 tsp Back in the Bayou spice blend
1 quart chicken stock
2 quarts milk (I used 2%)
1 8oz can baby clams, with liquid
2 lbs cod fillets, deboned and cut into large pieces
1 lb bay scallops, undrained
20 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined


In a large stockpot, heat olive oil on medium.
Add the onion and garlic, sauteing until clear (do not brown).
Add the carrot and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
Sprinkle in the salt and spice blend. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
Add the potatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
Add the chicken stock and milk. Raise heat to high. Stir occasionally as liquid heats up.
Once the soup base is just starting to bubble, taste some of the carrot and potato. The soup is only going to cook for a few more minutes after this, so they have to be pretty close to done cooking.
When the vegetables are done, reduce heat to medium.
Add the canned clams and liquid,  and all of the rest of the seafood. Stir very gently so you don’t completely break up the cod pieces.
All of the seafood I used cooks very quickly — within one minute or so, it was ready. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt or spice blend, as needed.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the reserved celery leaves.


Posted on April 19, 2013, in Back in the Bayou, Recipes, Soup and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The last time I made seafood chowder was a while ago. I added smoked oysters to mine…don’t know if that adds the same bacon-y flavour that your smoked sea salt did, but smoked mussels or oysters or clams could work.
    I like the idea of your lighter version. I’m due for another seafood chowder making session, thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Hi Vanessa! Thanks for the feedback!

      I love smoked mussels… I might try a heartier version of this, using the smoked mussels, maybe some fresh ones in the shell, clam, and a stronger fish… more like a bouillabaisse. I will let you know!
      Thanks, too, for the follow 🙂


  2. Smoked seafood or other ingredients really lift a chowder. Smoked haddock is a favourite of mine. Yours looks super-tasty.

  3. Great Soup,,,
    Looks Delicious 😀
    Thank you for the recipe 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Art Annex Gallery

big art, small town

Christina Dellea

Singer for hire

Rick Bettencourt

Author of the bestsellers Marketing Beef, Tim on Broadway, and more!

The Cheese Traveler

A Cheese, Meat and Specialty Food Shop in the Heart of DelSo, Albany, NY

Savory Simple

Be Fearless in the Kitchen!

A Healthy Lifestyle Designed For You

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

A how to for everyone and anyone

Your Spice of Life

~ "Yummy. Easy. Organic."

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: