Here is a great soup seasoned or unseasoned for a chilly Fall Sunday.
5 strips thick cut bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons white flour
2 cups chicken, fish or vegetable stock (I use chicken)
2 cups unpeeled and diced potatoes
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pound whitefish fillets (cod or haddock hold up well )
1 pound frozen cleaned shrimp
1 pound mussels
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
In a large, heavy Dutch oven, fry up the bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and add the butter to the pot. Sauté the onions in the bacon drippings and butter until transparent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add flour, stirring constantly for a few minutes, until the roux turns slightly golden (If you prefer corn starch make a slurry and add after the potatoes are done) Stir in the stock, potatoes and thyme and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes on medium heat). Stir constantly to keep the soup from burning or sticking to the bottom of the soup pot. Cut the whitefish into 1 inch chunks and add to the pot. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until the fish is just opaque. Steam the mussels while the fish is finishing cooking and set aside (if you can’t find mussels, add a can of clams).
Turn heat down to low. Stir in the cream and seasonings and simmer on low until just heated through, making sure not to let the soup boil (you do not want it to curdle). Ladle soup into bowls and top with steamed mussels, bacon bits and parsley. If you are using clams to replace the mussels, you can add the entire can when you add the cream. Honestly though, mussels are one of my most favorite foods and think they add a great deal. Hope you can find them.
If you do not like the seasonings, leave them out and you will still have wonderful chowder. Play with it and make it your own.
Have a super Sunday. Be happy and may God bless you and yours.