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SUNDAY SLOW SOUPERS #12 - FIVE ISLANDS SEAFOOD CHOWDER

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I am just loving the Sunday Slow Soupers. I love soup, and have even been making other soups during the week, not just the one for our group. They're filling, usually healthy, and make lots so we've got leftovers.

I rarely eat or make chowders, because they're usually so rich, full of cream and butter. When I first saw that this recipe from Sheena called for 1 stick of butter, I thought I can't make it. I usually save my fat and calories for desserts, not for my main course. Then I saw that the recipe serves 12. I knew I would cut the recipe in half, so I was down to 1/2 stick of butter. But I decided to modify this recipe even more, and it turned out great! I cut the recipe in half, but used only 2 tablespoons of butter, and instead of whole milk I used 2%. For my seafood, I used halibut, salmon, and shrimp, and a can of baby clams. For the liquid, I used one bottle of clam juice, and then the juice from the can of clams, with the addition of water to make the correct amount. This chowder has so few spices that I thought it was going to need some hot sauce or something, but it didn't at all. Even though I cut back on the butter, the buttery taste came through and I just loved it. I will be making this again many times, and I'm glad to have a chowder recipe in my repetoire.

FIVE ISLANDS SEAFOOD CHOWDER, from Sheena, with her comments

This recipe serves 12, and leftovers do not freeze well. Unless you are feeding a crowd either cut the recipe in half, or divide and freeze a portion when you get to the ‘may be prepared ahead to this point and frozen’ bit.

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
4 cups chicken stock or clam juice
2 cups chopped celery
6 carrots – chopped
2 tsp salt (now that we watch our salt intake I greatly reduce or omit salt)
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 lb haddock fillets – or cod or red snapper or salmon, cut into chunks. I usually use part salmon and part a white fish.
4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cans baby clams
1 lb cooked small shrimp (reserve a few shrimp for garnish)
1 lb crab (I sometimes omit the crab unless it is in season (i.e. cheap) or I am making the chowder for a special occasion)

In a large saucepan or soup kettle melt the butter.
Add onions and cook over low heat for a few minutes until soft.
Stir in stock, celery, carrots, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Add fillets, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

(May be prepared ahead to this point and frozen; thaw and reheat before continuing to next step)

Stir enough of the milk into the flour to make a smooth paste.
Gradually stir paste into the soup, then stir in remaining milk and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly.
Just before serving stir in clams, shrimp and crab, leaving on stove for long enough for these additions to heat through.
Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with reserved shrimp and some chopped parsley or green onion.

Comments (5)

I thought that 1 cup was 2 sticks of butter! I was nervous about the butter as well because I've been successful in cutting back (well, except for on vacation). I like the lower-fat version that you put together. I will make this later today.

Your soup looks delicious. Yum.

Jerry-You're right about how many sticks of butter this called for. Don't know what I was thinking. So I cut down even more than what I thought.

Barb Cabot:

I'm definitely going to try this one.

I haven't made this one yet so am glad to read about how to lighten it up a bit.

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