Gay Cook’s Fresh Fish Chowder  

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This autumn is the perfect time to enjoy warm fish chowder made with a boneless, cubed whitefish, halibut, cod and haddock. The addition of fennel gives a depth of flavour to the soup. If you have smoked salmon in the freezer, add it as a garnish as it does wonders to your soup. 4 – 5 servings

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter and or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or 2 leeks finely sliced, cut off green ends for stocks or other soups
  • 1/2 fennel or celery stalk, diced, reserve feathery fonds for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, cut
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, cut into 1Ž2 inch (1 cm) dice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry white wine, or fish or chicken stock
  • 1 lb (450g) skinless, boneless cod, halibut or white fish
  • 140 g canned clams with juice (optional)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk or part cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 1 cup (250 ml) small, cooked shrimp, optional
  • Garnish with chopped, fresh parsley or dill coarsely chopped
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  1. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter or oil with onion or leeks, garlic, chili 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. Cube the fish. Reduce heat to medium-low and add fish to cook about 5 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Gently stir in clams and shrimp; bring to a gently simmer 2 minutes and shrimp has turned pink. Add milk and cream if using also lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add extra stock if soup is too thick.
  3. Serve hot, garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve with toasted baguette slices.