Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This is a thick and creamy chowder without all the added fat that chowders are usually prepared with.  Using a combination of chicken broth and low-fat milk lowers calories, and blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Great flavor is achieved by sautéing lots of celery and onion in a small amount of butter till softened, then adding the flour and cooking to incorporate it.  Add the corn, diced potato, chicken broth and seasonings and cook until potatoes are tender.  Then about 1/3 of this mixture is blended in a blender and returned to the soup kettle along with the milk and shrimp.

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To make this a gluten-free meal, omit the flour.  The soup may be a tiny bit less thick, but still deliciously seasoned and filling.  This makes four generous servings with calorie count only 394/serving, and fat at 8g.

We love this soup, and summertime is the perfect time to make it with summer corn at it’s sweetest.  However I made it recently because I ended up with an opened package of frozen corn to use up.  Mr. D. suggested I make corn chowder, so that’s the back story of why I made it now.  Although frozen corn is not ideal, it still gave thickness and corn flavor that was satisfying.

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At serving time I added some chopped green onion, (green parts only) and chopped celery leaves for garnish.  A salty cheese would also be good sprinkled on top such as queso fresco, cojita or feta.  This will add calories and fat so be mindful of that if you are counting calories.

SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER

Yield:   Makes 4 servingsIMG_9182

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 medium or 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepperIMG_9184
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • celery leaves, chopped

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Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the celery and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in the corn and potatoes, then stir in the flour until incorporated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook until potatoes test done.

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3. Remove bay leaves;  transfer about 1/3 of this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.

 

IMG_9187 Return to a simmer, add the milk, and shrimp.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.  Season with additional salt if needed.  Soup may be thinned with additional chicken broth if it’s too thick.

4.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions and celery leaves.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

 

SOURCE:  a major adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light

 

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Frigid, but beautiful.

Frigid, but beautiful.

Right about now, the thermometer reads 7 degrees, with a wind-chill factor of –18*!.   We are in a deep freeze and this is day number 6 of it.  Brrrrr!  What’s a body to do to keep warm?  First and foremost, stay indoors.  If that’s not possible dress in multiple layers, covering ears, nose and fingertips.

What I love to do in this kind of weather is Make Soup.  There is something soothing and warming just in making it, and then simmering away, it promises more warmth and comfort later when you eat it.  Since I live in the Northeast, and this area is  well known for its creamy New England style clam chowder,  what I am making today is a variation of it called Fish Chowder (chowda, as we say).

Creamy New England Fish Chowder

Creamy New England Fish Chowder

New England style chowder is a cream or milk based soup that always contains potatoes, onions, and clams or other kinds of seafood.  You can make it rich and thick using cream, or lighten it up with light cream or milk.  I usually make mine with milk to reduce some of the fat, so that I can use bacon and its drippings for additional flavor and to sauté the onions and celery.  You may have heard of another kind of chowder that is popular here.  It is a clear broth soup served mostly in Rhode Island and parts of southeastern Connecticut.  Rhode Island style  chowder contains potatoes, clams, onions, lot of seasonings and a clear broth made from clam juice.  Everyone seems to have their favorite kind and their own way of making it, believing that theirs is the best.

My recipe is one that I have had for a long time and  I think it came from a community cookbook put out by one of the churches in the area.  This version is easy to make and we all love it.  Top each serving with some crisp bacon bits and a shake or two of hot sauce to add a little spice.

CREAMY FISH CHOWDER

Seafood. potatoes, and bacon crisped.

Seafood. potatoes, and bacon crisped.

SERVINGS:  about 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium stalks celery
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4  medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 pounds cod or other firm white fish, cut into 1/2″ pieces***
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 ( 8 0z.) bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cream, light cream or milk

***I use 1 pound cod or other white fish and then add a can of clams with their juice, some bay scallops and small-medium shrimp to make the other pound of fish.

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a skillet, cook the bacon crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Set aside till serving.

2.  In a large soup pot melt the butter and olive oil, add bacon drippings.   Add the chopped onion and celery.  Sauté until tender.

Saute onions and celery.

Saute onions and celery.

3.  Add chicken stock and potatoes; simmer for about 10 minutes.

4.  Add the fish, and simmer another 10 minutes.

5.  Season to taste with the Old Bay, salt and pepper.  Mix together the clam juice and flour till smooth.  Stir into the soup.  Add the cream or  milk and heat but do not boil.  When heated through, serve in bowls, topped with bacon bits.  Shake on a dash of hot sauce if you like a little spiciness.

Sprinkle with bacon  bits to serve.

Sprinkle with bacon bits to serve.

Enjoy a bowl of hearty hot chowder and stay warm, everyone.

Hearty fish chowder.

Hearty fish chowder.

Corn Chowder

Yesterday was a day that I definitely wanted to stay indoors.  Outside we had torrential rain and strong gusty winds.  Even though the air was humid and warm it put me in the mood for a hot soup for dinner.  Remembering the corn I had cut from cobs and froze, I decided to make a corn chowder.

Corn Chowder

There are any number of recipes out there for corn chowder, and I have tried several, but the one I keep coming back to is this one which includes bacon.  I like the smokiness it adds, and the bits of color in the finished soup.  This version also includes potatoes, and they make it a bit more hearty, especially  if served for a dinner meal.  This could easily become a vegetarian meal by omitting the bacon and using a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

CORN CHOWDER

YIELD:   about 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices thick bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

    Ingredients for Chowder. One can of chicken broth, not two.

  • 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 can chicken broth (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium potatoes, cup into small chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • chopped parsley, optional

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large saucepan, cook bacon till crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Reserve bacon drippings in pan.

2.  Add onion, celery and pepper to saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes.  (I didn’t have any peppers so I added some roasted red pepper at the end with the corn).

Add broth, water and potatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer covered 10-15 minutes or just until potato is tender.

3.  Stir in  milk, corn,  and bacon;  return to a simmer, stirring occasionally and cook just to warm through.  Do not allow to boil.  Prior to serving sprinkle in chopped parsley if using.

Corn Chowder and Rustic Whole Grain Bread: True Comfort Food.

When I haven’t made this chowder in a while I forget how good it is, but one taste is all it takes to make me know how much I love it, and why this is the one recipe I make over and over.  I’m so happy to share it with you.  You must make it on a damp chilly day and serve it with a hearty loaf of rustic bread.  True comfort food!

SOURCE:  This clipping has been in my recipe box for ages.  I don’t know it’s origins.