Simple Seafood Chowder
Over the years I have tried various recipes, both made up and found online and in books. It's been a hard one for me to nail down to just the way we like it, but last night's dinner was perfect. My first son and husband gobbled theirs up, and my little ate a lot of his as well. I like making large pots of soup so we always have some leftover for lunch the next day or as part of a meal later in the week. If you just want to make a little, cut everything in half.
For seafood we used leftover tilapia I had in the freezer waiting for this meal, but you could also use fresh fish- just cook it while you're sautéing your onions and garlic. This is not a traditional seafood chowder, in that the base is olive oil and chicken stock rather than butter and cream. I also use a lot more spice than the other recipes I've found, which have tended to be bland. Many recipes call for bacon or some sort of salted pork that everything gets cooked with when the fat is rendered out, but this recipe omits that entirely. I'm going for a healthy, but still tasty, alternative.
We served it with a side of fresh vegetables, but it would be equally good with a green salad and garlic toast.
Leftover seafood, about 2 c. (or more!), diced
1 medium onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 medium potatoes, washed well, skin on. Dice one of them.
2 medium carrots, diced or thin sliced coins
1/2 c. frozen peas
4-8 c. chicken stock (it depends on how many leftovers you want! Plan on most people having a second helping, because it tastes that good)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each of: cumin, thyme, oregano, salt
1 tsp each Italian seasoning and dried cilantro
1 bay leaf
a shake each of cayenne pepper and black pepper
1-1.5 tbsp corn starch
1/2 c. milk or cream (I used 10% coffee cream)
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on low-medium heat. Dice onion and slice garlic, then add to olive oil, and stir to combine. Cook until onions are starting to soften. Add spices, and stir well to combine. Add a bit of chicken stock, stir well, and add the diced potato and carrots.
Take a fine grater and grate the second potato into your soup. This will help thicken to thicken and flavour your soup. Bring your soup to a boil, adding chicken stock gradually and stirring well each time. Ensure that you stir often as you add the potato so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot. Scoop your corn starch into a fine sieve. Tap the side of your sieve with a wooden spoon, moving it across the pot so that the corn starch doesn't end up in one big lumpy pile. Add about a quarter of your cornstarch at a time, and stir frequently. As your soup boils it will thicken. Quit adding cornstarch when you get the consistency you want. When your potato is cooked, add the fish and the frozen peas. Stir in, cook for about 5 minutes or until the fish is heated. Remove from heat and add the milk or cream.
Serve immediately, and enjoy!
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Many-hatted wife and mom: cook, chauffeur, planner, payer-of-bills, and buyer-of-groceries, among others.