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July 27, 2011

Recipe for New England fish chowder


Skinny, shminny. Sometimes you've got to go for the full-on flavor of cream, and New England fish chowder practically begs you for it. Make this with any firm white fish; cod is traditional, but halibut, scrod or flounder -- even salmon -- are delicious in chowder. Ask your fishmonger for clam juice, or for fish stock, if they make their own. If you can't get to a fish market, buy the best bottled clam juice you can find, in the Italian foods aisle of your supermarket.

New England fish chowder

Serves 6.


3 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, diced
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour
1 qt clam broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 lbs cod or other white fish, or a mix, cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper, or more to taste


In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot. Stir in the chopped onion, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for 1 minute; then, stir in the butter and flour, and cook until the flour has been absorbed by the butter.

Pour in the clam broth. Raise heat to high, stir, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife.

Add the cream and fish. Stir gently, and cook the soup at a low simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve hot.

Print recipe only.


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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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