I know, I know.. I’ve been a bit over-active on the blog front in the last week. Must be the cold winter months driving me to create warming, comforting meals! And, on that note, a thick fish chowder called my name today.
But I didn’t want to faff about too much – I wasn’t after gourmet; just something quick, yet nourishing. So I unearthed Simon & Alison Holst’s ‘100 Great Ways to Use Slow Cookers & Crockpots’ and their recipe for Chunky Seafood Chowder. A can of soup and a can of creamed corn gives the basic structure to the soup, into which the fish and veges are added. And it’s all done in one pot – even though this is written with a slow-cooker in mind, it can obviously be done in a large saucepan, or even in the oven.
The recipe is completely flexible. I only vaguely followed the amounts specified and swapped stock powder for curry, which gave the chowder a nice kick. I also didn’t bother using the milk powder – I presume it’s to thicken the soup, but I found it was thick enough anyway. I also threw in some prawns and peas, but honestly, just use whatever you’ve got lying around. Also, I found I didn’t need to cook it for so long – I probably only cooked it for 2-2.5 hours max – not really sure why the 5 hours is recommended. But just use your own judgement on that one. Enjoy.
CHUNKY SEAFOOD CHOWDER
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 fairly large potatoes, diced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cups pumpkin, cubed
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 tsp instant stock powder (fish, chicken or vegetable) OR 1-2 tsp curry powder
- 1 x 440g can of any light-coloured cream soup (e.g. celery, chicken, mushroom or onion)
- 1 x 440g can creamed corn
- About 500g raw, skinless, boneless fish fillets
- Optional: Extra shell-fish, such as prawns, calamari, mussels, etc.
- Optional: A handful of frozen peas
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup dried milk powder
- Salt and pepper to season
- Chopped parsley or dill to serve
- Turn the slow cooker on to HIGH. Alternatively, use a large saucepan on the stove-top.
- In a large fry-pan cook the onions gently in oil until transparent. Transfer to the slow cooker or saucepan.
- Add the chopped potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and celery to the onions and stir to combine.
- Add the hot water and stock powder (or curry), then stir in the can of soup and the creamed corn. Put on the lid and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and stir them into the chowder. If using extra shell-fish or peas, add them in now. Cook on HIGH for another hour.
- Mix the milk and powdered milk together until smooth, then stir into the soup (I didn’t bother with the powdered milk, as the chowder was thick enough). Leave for 15 minutes longer.
- Adjust seasonings and serve sprinkled with fresh parsley or dill leaves.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting