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Fish Chowder

Fish Chowder

Rich and savory with chunks of tender new potatoes and flaky white fish simmered in a luscious broth highlighted by the essence of thyme.

Though I spend hours in the kitchen there are nights when I have limited time to make dinner. Soup is a perfect way to tackle a meal and satisfy the Engineer in my life – and this has become one of my “go to” recipes. It’s a wonderful chowder that comes together in fairly short order and with limited prep time.

Chowders are such delightful and hearty members of the soup family – and they’re a meal on their own. They come loaded with sweet onions and chunks of potatoes simmered in a base thickened with a buttery roux and finished with a touch of cream.

And though most of us are more familiar with clam or corn chowders this version with white fish well is equally wonderful. You can use your favorite white fish – I’ve used halibut, Pollock and cod. In a pinch I’ve tossed in fillets of catfish or tilapia with surprisingly good results. Savory tones come from the onion and fresh thyme. New or russet potatoes are simmered until tender in a base of seafood stock and white wine.

Cooking time for the fish will vary depending on the thickness and type of your fish fillets, so start with the shortest cooking time and cook just until the fish is opaque. The beauty of this chowder, it’s easy to keep all the items on hand with fish in the freezer, onions, potatoes and cartons of stock in your pantry. And you can use dried thyme in place of fresh.

Top with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and serve with a toasted baguette. Dinner is on the table!

Fish Chowder

6 tablespoons butter, divided

½ sweet onion, chopped – about 1 cup

3 new potatoes, scrubbed and diced into bite-size pieces, about 3-1/2 cups

4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, divided

4 tablespoons flour, divided

¼ cup dry white wine

5 cups seafood stock*

½ cup clam juice

½ to 1 tablespoon concentrated vegetable stock, such as Better Than Bouillon

1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound firm white fish fillet, such as halibut, cod, haddock or Pollock

Fresh parsley for garnish

*If you can’t find seafood stock you can also use vegetable stock.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Toss in the chopped onion and the new potatoes along with about 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves stripped from the stem. Cook until the onions and potatoes are becoming tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the flour, stirring to coat the vegetables and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour in the white wine, the seafood stock, clam juice, ½ tablespoon of the concentrated vegetable stock, the remaining sprigs of thyme, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and the black pepper. If you’re using dried thyme add 1 teaspoon in place of the fresh.

Continue cooking over medium heat stirring until the base of the chowder has thickened and the potatoes are tender and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Check for seasoning, adding the additional ½ tablespoon of concentrated vegetable stock and ½ teaspoon kosher salt if needed. The amount of concentrated stock and kosher salt will vary depending upon the seafood stock and concentrated vegetable stock you use.

At this point you can hold the chowder base or even refrigerate it overnight. About ten minutes before you’re ready to serve the chowder add the fish to the hot chowder base. Cover the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to low.

Continue cooking the chowder for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes apart. The cooking time for the fish will vary depending upon the thickness of the fillet.Gently break up the fish then pour in the cream and warm through for about 3 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and top with chopped fresh parsley.

To reheat any leftovers, warm gently over medium-low heat. The chowder will thicken after refrigeration – you can thin by adding additional stock or half and half.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Fish Chowder, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

January 16, 2019
: Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Rich and savory with chunks of tender new potatoes and flaky white fish simmered in a luscious broth highlighted by the essence of thyme.

By:

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped – about 1 cup
  • 3 new potatoes, scrubbed and diced into bite-size pieces, about 3-1/2 cups
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, divided*
  • 4 tablespoons flour, divided
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups seafood stock*
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon concentrated vegetable stock, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound firm white fish fillet, such as halibut, cod, haddock or Pollock
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • *You can substitute fresh thyme with 1 teaspoon dried thyme. And if you can’t find seafood stock you can also use vegetable stock.
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Step 2 Toss in the chopped onion and the new potatoes along with about 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves stripped from the stem. Cook until the onions and potatoes are becoming tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Step 3 Add the flour, stirring to coat the vegetables and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Step 4 Pour in the white wine, the seafood stock, clam juice, ½ tablespoon of the concentrated vegetable stock, the remaining sprigs of thyme, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and the black pepper. If you’re using dried thyme add 1 teaspoon in place of the fresh.
  • Step 5 Continue cooking over medium heat stirring until the base of the chowder has thickened and the potatoes are tender and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 6 Check for seasoning, adding the additional ½ tablespoon of concentrated vegetable stock and ½ teaspoon kosher salt if needed. The amount of concentrated stock and kosher salt will vary depending upon the seafood stock and concentrated vegetable stock you use.
  • Step 7 At this point you can hold the chowder base or even refrigerate it overnight.
  • Step 8 About ten minutes before you’re ready to serve the chowder add the fish to the hot chowder base. Cover the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to low.
  • Step 9 Continue cooking the chowder for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes apart. The cooking time for the fish will vary depending upon the thickness of the fillet.
  • Step 10 Gently break up the fish. Pour in the cream and warm through for about 3 minutes.
  • Step 11 Ladle into bowls and top with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Step 12 To reheat any leftovers, warm gently over medium-low heat. The chowder will thicken after refrigeration – you can thin by adding additional stock or half and half.


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