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Hearty Seafood Chowder

(Serves 6)
Seafood Chowder Up and down the country, eateries and other food emporiums could be judged by the quality of their seafood chowder.

How many of us have often ordered a seafood chowder in a restaurant and were given cream based soup with a fishy flavour but with a very small amount of fish.

This chowder is heavily laden with seafood & shellfish and could very easily be served as either starter or main course.

I also like to use this mixture to add to hot pasta for seafood pasta or can be transformed very easily to fisherman's pie with a layer of mashed potato or a sheet of pastry and then baked in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
Ingredients:

- 1 carrot-diced finely
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 leek-thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 large potato-cut into small
dice
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1oz/25g butter
- 1oz/25g flour
- 3floz/75ml white wine
- 7floz/200ml fish stock
- 12floz/350ml pouring cream
- ½ shot pernod (optional)
- 1lb/450g selection of fish
(cod, salmon, smoked haddock)
- 1lb/450g mussels (scrubbed
and cleaned)
- 12 large prawns-optional
- 1 dessertspoon of freshly
chopped basil

Select a wide based shallow saucepan and melt the butter.
Dice up the vegetables and garlic into nice bite size pieces and add to the saucepan together with the chopped thyme.
Sauté the garlic and vegetables over a low heat for 6-8 minutes until soft but not coloured.
Dice up all the fish as well, wash the mussels and store in the fridge until required.
Scatter the flour over the vegetables and mix the flour well in to ensure that the vegetables are all coated with the flour and that any of the butter or juices.
Add in white wine and allow the wine to sizzle for a moment.
Add in fish stock together with cream and bring the mixture slowly to the boil.
Entirely cook this mixture out (i.e.-until the vegetables have softened) before adding your selection of fish and shellfish.
Add the chunks of fish, the prawns and the cleaned mussels and allow them in poach very gently in the simmering liquid.
This will take no more than 6-8 minutes. The mussels opening up will give a good indication. (Discard any mussels that do not open).
Just after the fish is lightly poached, add in some freshly chopped basil.
Season to taste and serve immediately.
Traditionally chowder is served with garlic croutons or crushed water biscuits.
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