This is an easy and hearty Irish style seafood chowder that only needs a handful of ingredients a few simple steps. This soup comes together in 30 minutes and uses only ingredients from Aldi. Learn how to make a freezer-friendly soup creamy but without adding cream. Serve it with some fresh rolls or crusty bread for the perfect comforting meal.
Creamy Seafood Chowder
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- 1 pack fish pie mix (smoked haddock, cod and salmon)
- 1 onion
- 2 small carrots
- smoked pancetta
- new potatoes
- chicken or fish stock
- plain flour
- thyme & parsley
- pinch mixed spice and paprika
Salt, pepper, olive oil
How-to (Step by step)
- Start with a large saucepot over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Add in the diced carrots, onion and the pancetta. Sautee everything until the onion and carrots are soft and the pancetta is starting to turn golden. Add in the flour and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Once the pancetta is golden, add in the chopped new potatoes, thyme and chicken/ fish stock. Bring it all up to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender. This is where you add in the mixed spice and the paprika. Once the potatoes are tender, pour in the milk and add in the fish pieces. Bring the soup to a boil. Once the soup is boiling turn the pot down to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked and the soup is thickened.
Stir the chopped parsley through the soup and adjust the seasoning. A little more salt and little extra paprika. It's all up to you.
Seafood Chowder Top Tips
- You can most certainly add cream to this chowder, but if you're interested in keeping the fat and calories down then thickening with flour is the way to go. Chowders were traditionally the food of peasants and the poor and who would never have had access to or been able to afford cream and most definitely be thickened with flour.
- To add some extra richness to this soup (if you're craving a little luxury) then feel free to add some butter to the olive oil at the start of the cooking process.
Thickening chowder- do's and don't's
Most of us love extra thick chowder and there are a few things you can do to get there without much fuss or extra steps.
- Don't rinse your chopped potatoes before adding to the soup. That potato starch will help thicken the soup without you having to lift a finger or add anything extra.
- Do let the flour cook out for about 2 minutes before adding in the stock. Raw flour has a very distinctive taste and if it's not cooked out properly before you add in the stock there is no getting rid of it and it will flavour the whole soup.
- Bring the soup up to a full boil. Thickening agents like flour or corn starch only reach their full thickening potential when they come to a boil. Not a gentle simmer, but a boil. The soup doesn't need to boil for long but it does need to get there.
- If you've made the soup from start to finish but want it thicker have no fear. There are a couple of things you can do. 1. Mash some of the potatoes that are in the soup. Gently use a potato masher or fork to break up a few of the potatoes. The texture and the extra starch released will thicken the soup further. 2. Make a cornflour "slurry". About ½ a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Mix it until smooth then stir into the soup and return to a full boil for about 1 minute until the soup has thickened.
Freezing and reheating
This simple chowder freezes amazingly well. Especially since there's no cream in it, it won't split when you reheat it.
To freeze- cool the soup completely and place in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for up to 3 months.
To thaw- place overnight on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Often many foods can be thawed for a few hours at room temperature, but because this has fish in it, I highly recommend you use the overnight fridge method.
To reheat- place in a pan on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the soup is steaming and the fish and potato pieces are hot all the way through.
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