Seafood chowder

Seafood chowderWhat do you do when your freezer breaks down? Make soup of course! This is a luxurious soup from Saturday Kitchen chef Darina Allen and a life saver for me and my rapidly defrosting fish.
So it is true – every cloud does have a silver lining after all!

Serves 6-8


1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
100 g rindless streaky bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
25 g plain flour
850 ml fish stock or water
450 ml milk
bouquet garni made up of 6 parsley stalks, 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf
6 medium-sized potatoes cut into 5 mm dice.
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of mace
pinch of cayenne pepper
700 g firm white fish fillets, skinned
150 ml single cream
450 g mixed cooked shellfish
To garnish:
freshly chopped parsley and chives


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the bacon well until it is crisp and golden. Add the onion, cover and sweat for a few minutes over a low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Gradually add the fish stock or water, stirring constantly. Add the milk, bouquet garni and potatoes. Season well with salt, pepper, mace and cayenne.

Cover and simmer until the potatoes are almost cooked, approximately 5-6 minutes. The chowder may be prepared ahead to this point.

Cut the fish into 2.5 cm cubes. Add to the pot and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes or until the fish and potatoes are cooked.

Stir in the cream and add the shellfish. Heat through gently. Taste, correct the seasoning and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and chives. Serve immediately.

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