Winter is a great time to eat fish because of their high protein content that gives us needed energy to help us through our cold winter. The key to fish chowder is to cook the fish and seafood very little.
Fennel is available through the winter and adds wonderful flavour to a fish soup.
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) each of butter and olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped garlic
- ½ tsp (2 ml) dried chilli or cayenne
- ½ tsp (2 ml) fennel seeds
- ½ tsp (2 ml) dried thyme leaves
- ½ fresh fennel head, diced or 1 or 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 potato, peeled, chopped
- 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) tomato paste
- 1½ cups (375 ml) dry white wine
- 3 cups (750 ml) whole or fish stock or water
- 1 lb (450g) skinless cod, whitefish, halibut or salmon, cubed
- 12 oz large shrimp, shell and tail removed
- 12 oz mussels or clams remove from shell well washed, optional
- ½ fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley or dill
1. In medium saucepan on medium-low heat add butter and oil and cook onion, garlic, chilli, fennel seeds and thyme about 8 minutes so onion is cooked but not brown. Stir in fennel or celery, potato and tomato paste. Add wine and bring to a simmer to cook gently about 6 minutes to slightly reduce the wine. Raise heat to medium and add milk, stock or water and continue to cook 10 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 shrimp and mussels or clams if using; bring to a gently simmer for 5 minutes and shrimp has turned pink. Discard any mussel or clam does not open it’s shell. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
3. To serve, garnish with herbs and serve with toasted baguette slices.