Gay Cook’s Fish Chowder

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by Gay Cook

Our cool spring this year is the perfect time to enjoy fish chowder. The addition of fennel to the soup gives it an aromatic depth of flavour as it’s a favorite in Italian cuisine. If you have any smoked salmon in the refrigerator, add it to the soup as it will do wonders to your soup

makes  4 – 5 servings

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter and or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or 2 leeks (white part) sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or zest on a zester
  • 1Ž2 tsp (2 ml) each chilli flakes and fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1Ž2 fresh fennel diced, reserving fennel feathery fonds for garnish
  • 1Ž2 medium potato, peeled, diced
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry white wine or light beer or fish or chicken stock
  • 1 lb (450g) no skin or bones, cubed salmon or smoked salmon, cod or a whitefish
  • 140g canned clams with juice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk or part cream or more to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or dill
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  1. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter or oil with onion or leeks, garlic, chilli flakes, fennel seeds and thyme until onion is well cooked but not brown. Stir in fennel or celery, potato . Add wine and bring to a simmer to cook gently about 6 minutes and slightly reduce the wine. Raise heat to 20 minutes to completely cook the vegetables.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add fish to cook about 5 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Gently stir in clams; bring to a gently simmer for 5 minutes and shrimp has turned pink. Add milk and cream if using, as well as lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add extra stock if soup is too thick.
  3.   To serve, garnish with herbs and serve with a toasted baguette slice