Making this soup really stepped up my annoying culinary joke game last week. Anytime I make/eat/order/think of chowder, I think of the Simpsons chowda/chower Freddy Quimby scandal episode, which makes me laugh out loud regardless of time or location:
And having been given a beautiful filet of Alaskan halibut that I used in the chowder, I also got to walk around saying things like this,
which, as you can imagine, made me very happy. Just for the halibut…. hahahahaha…. Oh, top hat crab! You so crazy.
On to the soup. I’d stumbled across the idea for salmon chowder, which sounded delicious but quickly changed when the halibut entered my life. I decided to make a halibut, cod, and shrimp chowder just for the- wait for it- because I wanted to. Gotcha.
This soup can be made with whatever sturdy fish fillets you have on hand. You want the fish to be thick enough to stand up to being cooked in hot broth- the goal is to have large, spoon-sized chunks of cooked fish in the soup, not flakes. Leave the fish out altogether if you prefer- shrimp, chunks of lobster, and scallops would be equally amazing. This was a really tasty dinner and improved, as most soups do, overnight. It keeps for a few days and travels well. All in all, a tasty, hearty, warming dish.
- 2 lbs fish, skinned and boned, cut into 1″ chunks, or 2 lbs seafood and shellfish mix of your choice
- large handful peeled and deveined shrimp, optional
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour, optional (leave out for gf option)
- 1/2-1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 3 leeks, white and light green bits chopped into rings
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut into rounds
- 1 clove minced garlic, optional
- 1 bulb fennel, stalks and fronds cut off, chopped into small pieces
- large handful kale, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 6 cups stock or broth of your choice
- 1 cup half-and half
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, optional
- Crystal hot sauce, for serving – or (sacrilegious) Tabasco