April 28, 2015

Smoked white fish chowder

Serving bowl of smoked white fish chowder.

Spring has been slow to get started here this year. In fact, it's still be rather chilly most days. I've yet to retire my jackets and sweaters and heavier jammies and it's almost May. 

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On a chilly and damp day, a thick, creamy, and hearty chowder with a side of buttery bread is a perfect meal to me. This chowder uses a firm smoked white fish for the protein and it's paired with lots of vegetables and a creamy broth. Capers and a dash of hot sauce help add that extra something to really bring this chowder together.

This soup will serve about four people, especially with a side of crusty bread. I made a spelt sourdough to go with our chowder and it was a perfect companion for sopping up all the leftover broth. I'm working on perfecting my sourdough skills and will probably begin sharing more recipes using sourdough starter in the near future. 

You should be able to find smoked white fish in most larger grocery stores near the meat and deli section (probably near the smoked salmon).

Bowl of smoked white fish chowder topped with fish and capers.

Smoked white fish chowder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
4 cups chicken broth/stock
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature and cubed
about 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
about 1/2 lb. smoked white fish, skin and bones removed, and broken into pieces
capers, for garnish

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the celery, carrot, and onion. Stir well and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent. Stir in the garlic, bay, paprika, a couple pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the parsley. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened and fragrant. 

Stir in the wine/vermouth and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the wine come to a boil and reduce by half. Stir in the chicken broth. 

Whisk the flour into the milk until smooth and then add to the pot. Whisk well. Add the potatoes. Let the soup come to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low boil (just above a simmer). Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking/burning, until the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened. Whisk in the cream cheese until melted. Add hot sauce, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls and then top each with about 1/4 of the smoked white fish and some capers. Placing the fish on top will help it from turning mushy. Each person can stir it into their soup. 

Serving smoked white fish chowder.


  1. I LOVE soup with a side of crusty bread. Probably my favorite meal ever, actually. This is a different type of chowder than I usually make, and I love that. I'm trying to eat more fish, as I know it's so good for you!

  2. Gosh, this looks so good! A good fish chowder is wonderful stuff, and this looks amazing. Love the idea of using smoked fish! Thanks for this.

  3. I hope it warms up for you soon! We finally caught our break this week with the weather :) What a delicious chowder!

  4. This sounds wonderful! And I love that you could even substitute shredded chicken instead of fish, if you had a seafood-averse person in the house. What a perfect bowl of chowder!

  5. In our family, we all love fish and this smoked fish chowder is a fantastic inspiration to try out something new..

  6. This looks fabulous! I love smoked white fish! What a great chowder this must be!

  7. Dear Amy, what an utterly delicious looking fish chowder - I really should be trying out your recipe. It sounds no-fuss enough for a weekday night and there is still a chill in the air around here most of the days so for us this would be a perfect family-stlye meal for this time of year - do make sure to blog about your experience with the sourdough, I love "bread posts" and I would enjoying reading about your experiences!
    Have a wonderful 1st Day of May (a national holiday in this country - no school, shops etc. closed),

  8. Hi Amy, your creamy comfort soup look very appetizing. Yet to try fish chowder but I'm sure it taste great with toast bread.Thanks for sharing.

    Have a wonderful weekend, regards.

  9. Delicious, one of my favourite dishes.

  10. I love chowder but developed an allergy for clams, so a fish chowder is perfect for me! I liked that you used smoked white fish, it looks and sounds delicious!

  11. Amy, somehow I have not had fish chowder...and the sound of this is just amazing...I would love a bowl of this fish chowder for dinner...yum!
    Have a great week :)

  12. I love a good chowder and yours looks delicious. What a great way to warm up!

  13. Perfect for these cold months when you just want a hot cup of hearty soup! PINNED!

  14. I've never had smoked white fish!


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