We liked the flavor of the clam juice in this soup, but you could substitute fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth. If you don't have Pernod on hand, or prefer to omit the alcohol, substitute one teaspoon anise extract or finely ground aniseed. Serve with crackers.
2 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 1/2 cups clam juice
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon Pernod (licorice-flavored liqueur)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
How to Make It
Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and celery; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add 1 teaspoon garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add potato, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add clam juice and milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Partially mash potato using a potato masher. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Pernod, and thyme; simmer 10 minutes. Add scallops and half-and-half; cook 5 minutes or until scallops are done. Sprinkle with chives.
Wine note: With its splash of licorice-laced Pernod, this chowder is reminiscent of bouillabaisse. And that makes the classic Provençal pairing, rosé wine, ideal; the 2006 vintage is arriving now. These fruity, affordable pink wines boast bright acidity and little tannin, which allows the subtle, sweet scallops to shine. Domaine de Fonsainte Gris de Gris ($13) from Corbières is vibrant, fresh, floral, and bone dry. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
This recipe delivers alot of flavor for very little effort. The licorice flavor is just the "little something" that adds the special detail. I live in a coastal area where our local scallops rule. This recipe crowns our king seafood.
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