Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Smoked white fish chowder
Spring has been slow to get started here this year. In fact, it's still be rather chilly most days. I've yet to retire my jackets and sweaters and heavier jammies and it's almost May. On a chilly and damp day, a thick, creamy, and hearty chowder with a side of buttery bread is a perfect meal to me. This chowder uses a firm smoked white fish for the protein and it's paired with lots of vegetables and a creamy broth. Capers and a dash of hot sauce help add that extra something to really bring this chowder together.
This soup will serve about four people, especially with a side of crusty bread. I made a spelt sourdough to go with our chowder and it was a perfect companion for sopping up all the leftover broth. I'm working on perfecting my sourdough skills and will probably begin sharing more recipes using sourdough starter in the near future. You should be able to find smoked white fish in most larger grocery stores near the meat and deli section (probably near the smoked salmon).
Smoked white fish chowder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
4 cups chicken broth/stock
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature and cubed
about 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
about 1/2 lb. smoked white fish, skin and bones removed, and broken into pieces
capers, for garnish
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the celery, carrot, and onion. Stir well and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent. Stir in the garlic, bay, paprika, a couple pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the parsley. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened and fragrant.
Stir in the wine/vermouth and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the wine come to a boil and reduce by half. Stir in the chicken broth.
Whisk the flour into the milk until smooth and then add to the pot. Whisk well. Add the potatoes. Let the soup come to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low boil (just above a simmer). Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking/burning, until the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened. Whisk in the cream cheese until melted. Add hot sauce, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and then top each with about 1/4 of the smoked white fish and some capers. Placing the fish on top will help it from turning mushy. Each person can stir it into their soup.
What was I cooking one year ago?: Southwest black bean & quinoa patties w/ avocado sour cream
Two years ago?: Pad (Pat) Thai
Three years ago?: coconut chocolate chip banana bread
Four?: sweet & sour chicken
5?: egg tart w/ ramps & wild mushrooms