HEARTY SEAFOOD CHOWDER
Though it was over 20 years ago, I will never forget the first time I ate SEAFOOD CHOWDER. It was at a seafood restaurant in the Sydney suburb, Brighton-Le-Sands. It was a cold night and my boyfriend and I (who is now my husband) decided on seafood for dinner. We decided to share a seafood chowder soup as an entree. It came to us served in a bread bowl - something I had never seen before - and smelt absolutely amazing! I just wanted to shove my nose right into that bread bowl and smell all that fresh, creamy seafood (weird…I know…) Along with tasting brilliantly scrumptious, it was also fun to eat. I had never eaten soup out of a bread bowl before! The hollowed out bread gave us pieces to use for dipping and then the option to eat the bread bowl after. How awesome is that?
Well, I didn’t eat Seafood Chowder again until recently (I really don’t know why) so I decided to come up with my own version that reminded me of the one I had 20 years ago. You will notice I have not served it in a bread bowl for obvious reasons (gluten free) and I have not used flour in it either however the soup is still delicious, thick, creamy and fresh as though you’re eating right on the coast. If you decide to make this and you are not gluten intolerant or coeliac, feel free to serve it in a bread bowl. It is very entertaining!
Now a little piece of fact for you....I was discussing with a friend about my first experience eating Seafood Chowder and he told me that in the opening chapters of the novel “Moby-Dick” the author has the main character Ishmael eating a bowl of chowder soup. Funnily, the author has written quite a few pages to the experience of eating chowder soup…
“Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition.” hahaha I guess it was a pretty delicious seafood chowder!
200g cod, diced
200g skinless salmon, diced
200g green prawns, peeled, diced
400g baby clams or vongole, washed
400ml fish / vegetable stock or boiling water
1 can light coconut cream
2 tbs coconut oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 bay leaf
4 springs fresh thyme
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried dill
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt / pepper
parsley to garnish
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add leek, celery, carrot, parsnip and sweet potato. Cook, stirring over a medium heat for 4 minutes.
Add thyme leaves, bay leaves, sea salt, pepper, paprika, apple cider vinegar and stock and bring to boil. Simmer for 6 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
3. Add coconut milk, dill, cod fish and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
4. Add salmon, prawns, vongole and lemon juice and simmer for a further 3 minutes or until the vongole have opened. Do not bring to boil, only simmer.
5. Remove thyme springs and bay leaves. Ladle chowder into large wide bowls and season with ground pepper, garnish with parsley and serve with a few chilli slices (optional).