Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple puts his own spin on chowder here, using beans instead of potatoes, and smoky whitefish in place of bacon. It’s hearty and delicious but lighter and fresher than most chowders.
Slideshow:More Chowder Recipes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 large leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
4 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces, plus leaves for garnish
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Three 8-ounce bottles clam juice
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
1 pound skinless whitefish fillets, such as hake or cod, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound smoked whitefish, flaked
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Snipped chives, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks, celery, onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the clam juice, stock, cream and bay leaf and bring just to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the chowder is slightly thickened, about 7 minutes.
Stir the fresh and smoked fish and the beans into the soup and simmer over moderately low heat until the fresh fish is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and season the chowder with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with celery leaves, chives, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
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