A Classic Fish Chowder

Soup’s on! Its been a while since I’ve posted any soup recipes here. I suppose its all the warm weather we’ve been having lately. But, getting back to basics, here’s a Cod fish chowder that can also be made using haddock or pollack, or any light, firm-fleshed fish.

here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound cod fish cut into pieces
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 russet potato diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 cups of fish stock… you do have fish stock yes?
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 garni boquet of: thyme and parsley
  • 1 bayleaf

melt a little butter in a large pot and start browning the bacon. Add the fish stock, garni, potato and cook a few minutes until the potato starts to soften. Then add in the celery and carrots and let them cook a few minutes. Then, add in the fish and cook until the fish just cooks through and firms up becoming opaque.

Gently stir in the milk, add a touch of salt, and remove from the heat.

Let stand until the milk heats up then ladle into nice heavy bowls and I like to garnish with oyster crackers.. and a blue point lager.

 

Three Cans and a Plan

Three cans, a carrot, and a celery stalk walk into a bar… what to do… make salmon chowder. Salmon chowder is one of those winter comfort soups that really don’t take too long to whip up. I find that one of the best tips for making thick satisfying cream-based chowders is to cut the potatoes smaller than you normally would. I cut most of the potatoes into smaller than bite-size, but then I take one of the potatoes and dice it into small cubes. This releases much more starch into the chowder that helps to thicken it without adding fat laden cream or butter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 ounce can salmon
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Long Island potatoes chopped
  • 1 Long Island potato diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic cloved, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 cup of water
  • Sea salt

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic until onions are tender. Stir in water, potatoes, carrots, pepper, salt, and tarragon. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer about half an hour..

Once this base comes together, stir in salmon, evaporated milk, and corn. Go through that can of salmon, don’t just open the can and toss it in. Nope! Go through the salmon and remover and bone or skin that often works its way into these cans. Cook until heated through.

I like to serve this long with pumpernickel bread and an oatmeal stout beer right out of the jug from Blue Point brewery.

Comfort Soup – Split Pea

As the cold weather begins to creep in, and a new exorcism movie is making the rounds, I can hear the comforting call of a nice hot pot of pea soup. Yes, there is no greater friend to a ham hock than a piping pot of split peas.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lb (2 1/4 cups) green split peas
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, halved
  • Salt and Pepper

Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas. Place in a 4 quart pan with the vegetables ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the top of the soup for several minutes clearing the froth that floats along. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.

Remove the ham hocks from the soup. Purée the soup with a blender;  I use my immersion blender right in the pot, its great for this; if you are using a regular blender, take care to work in batches and only fill the blender halfway if the soup is still hot, and hold down the lid while blending. If you want an exceptionally smooth soup, pass the purée through a sieve, but I prefer mine a bit on the lumpy side.

Remove the skin from the hocks and dice up the meat. At this point you can scour the fridge for any left over ham bits and pieces. This is one really good soup for using up those porcine scraps.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warm bowls. I like to serve this with fresh warm pumpernickel bread.