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Shellfish chowder

Shellfish chowder

Choose your favourite shellfish or fish and make it your own

Preparation20 Mins
Cooking Time10 Mins

Chowders are made all across the world, which means there is no ‘classic’ recipe; each country has its own interpretation. Some say that the origin of the word chowder is chaudron, which was the French word for cauldron. Mine is a simple light vegetable and shellfish soup. If you want to give it more richness, add some crisp grilled or pan-fried bacon or even smoked fish. Make sure you choose the freshest of seafood and the best quality mussels, which will be shiny, closed, heavy with seawater and have no ‘fishy’ smell.

Ingredients Required

For the shellfish chowder:

Clams, washed
Mussels, washed, beards removed
Cockles, washed
White wine
Unsalted butter
Large leek, outer 5 layers removed and thinly sliced
Onion, finely-diced
Garlic clove, sliced
Bay leaf
Whipping cream
Root ginger, finely grated (optional)
2 grating
Nutmeg, ground (optional)

For the garnish:

Unsalted butter
Leek, cut into 3cm batons
1 large
Desiree or Maris Piper potato, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
Lemon juice (to taste)
Wakame seaweed, rinsed
Sea salt freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Cooking Method

Chef tips

"For an Indian version, add some Madras curry powder to the onion and then finish the dish with some lemon and coriander."

"For a Thai version, some chilli, garlic, lemongrass and lime leaf could be added to the onion and the cream replaced with coconut cream."

"To create a New England-style chowder, add 100g of chopped bacon to the onions at the beginning."


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This recipe is adapted from the book Kew on a Plate

Accompanying a very special BBC TV series Raymond filmed with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this is the story of the nation's favourite fruit and veg. You’ll find an array of mouth-watering seasonal recipes, detailed tasting notes, and valuable tips for growing your own produce from the talented gardeners of Kew. A perfect read for the green-fingered gastronome.

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