Simple seafood chowder


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks (inner white ones if possible), finely chopped
  • 1 Small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup) white wine
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 500ml (2 cups) fish or chicken stock
  • 800g fish and seafood (or fresh marinara mix), bones and skin removed
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • chopped parsley, to garnish
  • crusty bread rolls and lemon wedges, to serve


Seafood chowders have been seamen's staples for centuries, usually made from the trimmings of a commercial catch or whatever was caught in the net. You can use any varieties of fish and seafood you please.

Serves 4, or 6–8 as an entree


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, celery and fennel, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the white wine and 250 ml (1 cup) of water and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the lemon zest, potato and stock, and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, prepare the fish and seafood. Cut the fish into 1-cm chunks (or to your liking). Peel and devein prawns, and halve them if very large. Cut squid into 2-cm lengths. Scrub pipis, clams or mussels (molluscs) and remove their beards. You can also remove their shells if preferred. Throw away any broken molluscs or open ones that do not close when tapped. Once cooked, throw away any unopened molluscs.

Strain the lemon juice and add to the soup along with the fish, seafood and cayenne pepper, if using. Simmer gently for about 5–8 minutes or until the fish and seafood are just cooked (the fish will start to lose its opalescence). Add the cream and heat through. Season to taste.
Sprinkle the parsley over the soup. Serve with crusty rolls and lemon wedges.

This recipe appeared in the post Fish in fashion on June 06, 2013.

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