When the wind whips, as is often the case in January and February, a bowl of soup is a welcome offering at lunch or dinner. When it’s creamy, rich, seafood-laden chowder, it’s even better! This recipe, which originally appeared in my Irish Pub Cookbook and makes another appearance in Favorite Flavors of Ireland, originated at Fitzpatrick’s Pub, Rockmarshall, County Louth. It’s delicious served with brown soda bread.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, warmed
2 leeks (white part only), washed and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/4 pound mussels, steamed, shells discarded
1/4 pound clams, steamed, shells discarded
1/2 pound mixed seafood, such as salmon, shrimp, and scallops
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as basil, dill, chervil, and chives
1. In a large saucepan or stockpot or over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until blended. Slowly whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
2. In another saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add leeks, onion, and carrot and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add fish stock or clam juice, wine, and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until reduced by half.
3. Stir in shellfish and seafood, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until liquid is reduced again by half. Stir in milk mixture, season with salt and pepper, and cook until heated through. To serve, ladle chowder into shallow bowls and sprinkle with mixed herbs.