I recently prepared this recipe for an event I catered for a Henry Art Gallery board meeting. I served the chowder in individual bowls and garnished them with fresh minced chives (as shown in the photo above), but it’s equally good ladled right from the stove into big bowls for your family.
New England Fish Chowder
Serves 8 first-course servings
3 pounds firm-fleshed fish, such as rock cod, halibut, or sea bass
2 quarts fish broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large onions or 4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
3 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Over medium heat, cook the sliced onions and potatoes in the butter in a 4-quart pot for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to let the onions brown. Add the fish broth and bring the soup to a slow simmer. Simmer the soup for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking the potatoes. Check the potatoes by pushing one of the cubes against the inside of the pot with a spoon—it should crush easily. Add the heavy cream and simmer for 1 minute.
At the last minute, just before serving the chowder, bring it to a simmer and add the cut-up fish fillets. Simmer the soup with the fish for 5 to 10 minutes, about 8 minutes per inch of thickness.
Ladle the chowder into hot bowls and decorate each one with a pinch of chopped chives.
Recipe from James Peterson’s Splendid Soups.