This is not an overly thick chowder as some, although you could thicken it with more flour or potatoes if you desire. I like it because it’s fairly easy and quick to make and you can use pretty much any seafood that you prefer. The one thing you will need though is shrimp, because the shells and tails will be used to make the seafood broth.
1 – 2 lbs of shrimp, shells and tails on
1 onion, cut in half
1 celery heart, or more if desired
A bit of fresh flat leaf parsley – several sprigs
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
4 – 5 cups of water
2 or more pounds of other seafood – I like to purchase a frozen seafood blend that contains scallops, calamari and more shrimp. Using the frozen seafood helps to flavor the soup. I’ve also added white fish to the chowder
2 to 3 red potatoes cleaned and cut into small chunks (I’ve made the chowder with and without potatoes. It’s great both ways)
1 ½ cups of cream
2 Tbls butter
4 Tlbs flour
Tony Chachere’s seasoning to taste
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Clean the shrimp reserving the tails and shells. Place the tails and shells in a pot; add the water, Old Bay seasoning, 3 stalks from the celery heart (cut in half), the parsley and half of the onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Drain through a colander into a bowl or other pot.
Drizzle olive oil into the pot that you will make the soup in. Finely chop the other half of the onion and the rest of the celery. Add to the olive and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the butter. When melted add the flour and mix into the vegetables.
Slowly add the shrimp broth back into the pot, mixing well in between additions so that you don’t end up with lumps. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.
When the soup comes to a boil add the shrimp and whatever other seafood you are using. Return to a simmer and add the cream. If the soup needs to be thickened you can use a little cornstarch to accomplish this. (Make sure to add cold water to the cornstarch and then add the mixture to the hot soup. If you add cornstarch directly to something hot – it will create lumps.) Season with the Tony’s, salt and pepper.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh chopped chives over the soup.
Click here for printable recipe.