We’re having soup for supper. I changed it up a bit and made a fish chowder. I wanted a simple, yet delicious bowl of soup. Still yearning to fill up “Miss T” who is partial to clams, I thought about clam chowder, but finding fresh clams in my part of the universe is not easy. When my local grocer didn’t have any fresh ones I decided on cod for the chowder.
My young patient was licking her lips at the thought of fish chowder. She was especially proud of the fact that I was following Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. She brought home one of those “pick of the day” cards from Starbucks one evening with Mark Bittman as the featured pick. We immediately downloaded it to my iPad and phone. It came in handy on this day, when after a visit to the dentist we stopped to get yet again, ingredients for soup. Something she could eat and quench her appetite.
I admit it sure makes for easy grocery shopping when the ingredients list is right before you. I purchased the fresh, wild caught cod, some waxy potatoes and headed home. I had the rest of the ingredients in my pantry and frig.
It proved to be satisfying, filling and warming to all of us, not just “Miss T”. I slimmed it down a bit by using half and half instead of heavy cream. Cooking the onion, potatoes and thyme in the bacon fat renders a rich flavor. New England style, the nice sized chunks of fish and potatoes gave substance and filled our tummy’s. Oh, and those little golden circles floating on top – a tab of butter, melted. ‘Nuff said!
4-6 slices good, meaty bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups peeled and roughly chopped waxy potatoes
1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 cups fish or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup half and half
2 cups, chunked white fish, such as cod
Chopped fresh parsley
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. butter
Cook the bacon in a large, deep pot over medium high heat until crisp Remove with a slotted spoon and cook the onion, potatoes and thyme in the bacon fat until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then add the half and half and milk. Add the fish and bring barely to a simmer over low hat, taking care not to let the soup boil. Simmer until fish is cooked through. Add crumbled bacon and parsley, stir to incorporate. Melt the butter on top of hot chowder.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman – How To Cook Everything