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.
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.