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December 2004 Issue
Cold Weather Soups
by Ronda L. Halpin
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My second holiday soup is actually my traditional star of the show on New Year's Day. I've taken to using a frozen seafood medley that I get at my grocery store, but I've also used everything from tender chunks of cod to buttery bits of lobster -- depending on what's available and will suit my wallet!


Seafood Chowder

The holidays make me think of seafood chowder, my dish of choice for New Year's Day. Add an elegant salad and some crispy cheesy breadsticks and you've got something to celebrate!
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 c. clam juice
  • 4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 c. assorted seafood (I use a medley of shrimp, clams and squid that's available frozen at my market)
  • 1 1/2 c. evaporated skim milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
In a large stockpot, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, crumble it and set it aside.

Add the potatoes, onion and shallots to the bacon drippings and fry until the onion and shallots are softened but not brown. Add the thyme and stir to combine. Add the clam juice and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened.

Using the back of a spoon, mash the potatoes against the side of the stockpot until no large chunks remain. (You could also use a stick blender, but I think it makes it too smooth.) Add the seafood, evaporated skim milk and seasonings and return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and serve with the bacon crumbled over the top.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 minutes

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