For many, the phrase “winter is coming” evokes scenes from a popular TV series – but for us it means CHOWDER SEASON!
There’s something so soothing about soup; it can make you feel instantly warm and nourished, it can fill your belly and your soul, and there are seemingly endless options where soup ingredients are concerned. Sure, chicken soup is a staple, and vegetable stew is a reliable dish, but if you haven’t added fish chowder to your repertoire, the time is now.
Hearty Fish Soups Make a Perfect Winter Meal
First of all, soups and stews can help you feel more full so you’re less likely to overeat other less healthy foods. And they fill you up with essential nutrients and fiber, especially soups that are loaded with vegetables and protein.
Also, soups are magical one-pot meals, meaning you only have to dirty one pot and minimize your cleanup time. And soups are often best when they simmer for an extended period of time, meaning less work for you and more unattended cooking time while you sit by the fire with a glass of wine, a good book and a heavenly aroma coming from your kitchen. (And yes, you can make amazingly tasty soup in a pressure cooker, which is even more hands-off but still equally delicious).
These 7 fish chowders are key for the colder winter season, and even if you think you don’t like seafood soups, we’re about to change your mind.
1. Smoked Alaskan Salmon Chowder
This chowder is loaded with vegetables that are chopped and sautéed with fresh bacon. The fish broth is thickened thanks to a roux, or a paste made from butter and flour; then to add another layer of flavor and a major dose of protein and nutrients, you add flaked smoked salmon. White wine and lemon juice offer yet another boost, and everything simmers together until you have a thick, hearty, fish chowder with will not disappoint.
2. Smoky Manhattan Salmon Chowder
Chowder that you can eat as a part of a low-fat diet? We’re listening! For people trying to limit your fat intake and watch your cholesterol, creamy chowder soups often do not make the cut of your dietary choices, but this Manhattan Salmon Chowder hits all of the flavor notes you know and love about chowder, without the dairy and without the fat.
The trick is to use lots of spices and hearty veggies to give your tomato fish broth a ton of flavor. The salmon is cooked in the soup broth, making this dish easy to make in just one pot, but even easier to devour.
3. Salmon Moqueca
This traditional Brazilian fish stew is creamy and delicious, and a must-try for any soup lover looking to kick it up a notch with a flavor-packed chowder. Don’t be intimidated by the name (pronounced mo-KEH-kah) or the long list of ingredients. The dish is actually fairly simple to make thanks to the use of a food processor to make the fish marinade.
All of the ingredients come together nicely and the combination of coconut milk with lime juice, cilantro, chile and garlic make an absolutely perfect dish for any season. While you can use almost any fish for this stew, the chef behind this recipe opts for wild Alaskan salmon, which is high in omega-3s.
4. Corn and Cod Chowder
Corn chowder is always a fan favorite when it comes to comfort food thanks to the rich, creamy base and deliciously sweet corn. But what happens when you add fresh, wild cod to the dish? Pure culinary magic. You don’t lose the classic elements and flavors of really good corn chowder in this dish, but you add additional texture, flavor and a ton of nutritional value (protein, fatty acids, low in calories, high in B vitamins).
5. Alaskan Cod Chowder
This cod chowder is on the health-conscious end of the soup spectrum. Cream is swapped for milk and the base is thickened by flour mixed with fish broth. The sodium content is fairly low, there is no butter (instead the recipe calls for heart-healthy olive oil) and the protein and vitamins from the fresh cod give this chowder a big nutritional (and flavor) boost.
6. Healthy Halibut Chowder
Halibut lovers listen up: it’s possible to take your favorite fish and simmer it in a rich and creamy broth that's healthy but still with all of the flavors you love. This gluten free healthy halibut chowder is made of skim milk and as if that isn’t enticing enough, it takes less than an hour to make.
7. Blushing Halibut Chowder
This halibut chowder has a few key steps/ingredients: first of all, you will sauté chorizo in olive oil, and then use that chorizo-infused oil to make the chowder broth. Second, be careful to gently poach the halibut pieces and not to over-cook the fish. This chowder is packed with flavor thanks to the paprika and thyme, and it’s extra rich thanks to the heavy cream. In the end, you have a bowlful of goodness that is as beautiful and fragrant as it is delicious.