Rainy Day Fish Chowder with Leek, Potato and Corn
A guest post from Blythe:
So I know that in the summer most people’s appetites lean towards fresh, cool, and crisp: juicy slices of watermelon, grilled chicken salads, iced tea… I get it. But, let me paint a picture for you: last Sunday, we spent the afternoon on the boat (or in my husband’s case, the whole DAY on the boat), and when you do that in Florida in the summer time, you tend to encounter an afternoon storm or two. While I am smiling in this picture, you will notice our foul weather gear and Cora’s scowl.
SO, by the time we made it home, we had all experienced our quota of grey clouds and rain and Nate was chilled to the bone. The first thing that came to my mind was fish chowder. Yessssss. Maybe you haven’t been stuck on a boat in the rain lately, but I’m willing to bet that pretty much every Floridian has gotten caught in a deluge at some point in recent history. And I promise that this steamy bowl of soup is the perfect antidote to such a situation. And given that this past week I got both leeks AND carrots in my Space Girl Organics box, making chowder was a no-brainer. I hope you find it just as satisfying as we did. Enjoy.
Rainy Day Chowder
1 Tbsp butter
1 leek, cleaned and diced
2-3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 Tbsp (more or less to your liking) of Old Bay seasoning
4 potatoes, diced
2-3 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1 lb firm white fish, cut into 1” cubes (vegetarians can leave this out)
1 ½ cups half & half
2-3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
Green onions (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add in leek, carrot, and garlic and saute for approx. 3-5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until it adheres to them (this will eventually help thicken your soup).
Add the chicken broth and the water to the dutch oven, then add in the potatoes and Old Bay seasoning. Let the soup cook (either simmering or at a low boil) for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes start to soften. Add in the corn and allow it to cook another 5 minutes. At this point, I used my immersion (aka stick) blender to blend the soup, because I like mine kind of creamy. This is completely optional—you can choose to leave the vegetables in chunks, or you can use a stick blender, or you can even transfer the soup to a regular blender in small batches or just use a potato masher. Whatever floats your boat.
Once the vegetables are all tender, add in the fish. This will only take 3-5 minutes to cook, so once the fish is white throughout (no longer translucent) or begins to flake apart, you’re good. Remove the soup from the heat and add in the half and half. Give the soup a gentle stir and a taste. Add in salt and pepper to your liking, and garnish with bacon and green onions if you like. My husband heartily recommends a bit of Crystal hot sauce too, but he would put Crystal in his coffee if it didn’t garner strange looks, so yeah.
Note: This would be a good chowder even without the fish, so if you’re a vegetarian, just swap the chicken broth for vegetable and omit the fish.