Bacon brings a welcome smokiness to this fish chowder. Serve with oyster crackers on a cold night and you will warm up in no time.
4 1/2 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets or other firm white fish, skinned
3 slices bacon, uncooked
3 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
How to Make It
Bring 4 1/2 cups water and bay leaves to a simmer in a large skillet. Add fish; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan with a slotted spoon. Cut fish into large pieces. Reserve 2 1/2 cups cooking liquid and bay leaves.
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon, and set aside. Add potato, onion, and carrot to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, bay leaves, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Add milk and butter; simmer 25 minutes until potatoes are tender (do not boil). Stir in fish, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with bacon.
Made half the recipe and it served three, but maybe because it's so good? I used up some odds & ends in the freezer: scallops, cod, and steelhead trout (which is like salmon). I do recommend a stronger stock, though. I had some homemade shrimp stock (water, shrimp shells, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, dab of tomato paste--simmer 1/2 hour and strain) in the freezer, but you could use clam juice or Swanson's seafood stock. I also added a bit of habanero pepper in with the onions, as well as 1/4 cup celery and a big clove of garlic, chopped. Like others, I subbed herbes de provence for thyme. And 1/2 cup of creamed corn and 1/2 TB of cornstarch whisked into the cold milk provided some needed thickening. This is a good one! Served with cornbread and green salad.
I had only 1/2 lb swordfish steak, but I cooked it as directed and chopped it into 1/2" squares and it seemed like enough. I also added about 1/2 C of frozen corn near the end, and a tad more salt than the recipe called for. It was creamy but not too thick, filling, and delicious. Served with dinner rolls but it would be great with sourdough also.
Delicious! I used a tray of fish chunks sold for $1.50 a pound, a blend of salmon, cod, halibut, and other fish. A real bargain! I made my chowder without bacon (didn't have it). I used a mix of skim milk and half&half, some celery, and Herbs de Provence instead of thyme. I loved the flavor!
This was great! I added a pinch of herbs de provence instead of dried thyme, lots of black pepper, and about 2 lbs of cod instead of the 1.5 pounds. I also thickened the soup base with a little tapioca starch and milk, as we like thicker chowder. My husband loved it, and so did I! Not too difficult to make, either. The cod produced a wonderful, mild, soup. Nom nom!
I'm eating this right now, and this is sooo good!! I used tilapia and a little less than a pound. I didn't have 2% milk so I used 2 cups half and half and 2 cups skim milk. Otherwise followed instructions. I sliced some scallions for a topping - really good. I'll make this again for sure!
Followed the recipe exactly and I thought this was a great soup, but I wouldn't really call it a chowder because it was quite thin. Unlike the others, I didn't think it lacked in flavor. Frying the bacon and then cooking the vegetables in the pan, really created a good brown crust that I was able to scrape up after I added back the cooking liquid. I think a lot of the flavor came from that. Served it with a baguette to go with the flavorful, milky broth. Will make this again, but might try to thicken it a bit with some flour.
1-24-10 (2 stars) I also used Cod, and I agree with other posts that it was lacking in flavor. Perhaps I should have used fresh thyme. 12-19-11 Made again with Haddock, and used 2 cups heavy cream, and 2 cups 1% and left out butter. Apparently fat was the flavor that was missing the first time, I'm upgrading my improved less light version to 4 stars.