Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Fish Chowder

We're at a funny time of year here in England. The days are getting longer and everywhere there are signs of summer, but temperatures have been quite cool in recent weeks. My body is telling me though that it's time for eating lighter foods - chicken, and fish, and loads of salads. But the cool evenings tell me it's still a time for soups and stews and other warming foods.

I decided to listen to both these internal messages and made a delicious seafood chowder for our dinner one night.

I like dishes that are versatile - ones that can be altered to fit what is in season, and what is in your fridge, and that can be put together without a lot of fuss and bother. This recipe ticks all my boxes.

You too can cook up this seafood chowder in under 30 minutes.

Seafood Chowder


2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped (or 100gm lardons)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 pack fish pie mix (an assortment of cod, haddock, and salmon pieces)
1 bay leaf
1 pack seafood mix (prawns, mussels, and squid)
Seasonal vegetables, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 generous dash Tabasco sauce
1 pint milk
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the bacon into pieces and cook until browned in a heavy-bottomed pot  (I recommend the SKK stew pot)
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil if needed, then add the chopped onions and carrots and cook until softened. 
  3. Now pour in the 2 pints stock and bring up to a boil.
  4. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, add in the fish and the bay leaf and let it cook for 5 minutes. 
  6. Add the pre-cooked mixed seafood and let simmer a further 5 minutes. 
  7. Reduce the heat and add in the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  8. Bring up to heat without boiling before serving. (Boiling milk can cause it to curdle, especially if you are using fat-free)

Serve with crusty bread and butter or oyster crackers, if desired. 

Seasonal vegetables: The image I have used has corn as it's vegetable and that is a very traditional addition to many chowders. This time I happened to use green beans and asparagus because that is what was in my fridge, but the next time I may use something completely different.

Fish and seafood: Likewise, you can use any fish to make this dish. I happen to buy the fish pie packs because they are cheaper but also provide a bit more variety than buying a whole fillet of a single fish.

This recipe made 4 generous servings.

Above image by Rootology (Own work by uploader (cooking by uploader, too)) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons