Creamy Seafood Chowder
One of my favourite things about the long, cold, dark, Canadian winters, after Christmas of course, is all the wonderful comfort foods you justifiably indulge in until spring decides to arrive. Rich, creamy soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, pies… you get the point. Those of us on the AIP know just how restricted we are when it comes to those familiar tastes and smells. Not even a dash of pepper to warm us!
I have been a passionate lover of fish and seafood for as long as I can remember. Growing up on the prairies, we didn’t get much of it, so when Mom splurged and we had shrimp for dinner, it was a great treat! Once out on my own with some disposable income, I treated myself a little more frequently. So imagine my pure, unadulterated joy when I discovered that eating seafood was not only permitted on AIP, but strongly encouraged! Seafood has a whole raft of health and healing benefits, especially for those with autoimmune issues. See this great piece from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne for more on why fish and seafood are so good for you! Unless you’re allergic. Then you have my sympathies and you probably won’t be reading the rest of this post.
This recipe is my very first endeavour in AIP-compliant recipe development. This was also my very first introduction to fennel. Boy, have I been missing out! It is now a regular part of our produce selection, but we tend to use it for Balsamic Liver more than chowder. Turnips or white sweet potato make a great substitute for the potatoes typically found in a chowder. You don’t even miss the nightshades! I like to pulse this once or twice through the blender before adding the seafood. It just gives it a better texture I find. I have included this step, but it is completely optional. If you decide to skip the blender, you can leave the bay leaves in until you are ready to serve. The outcome is quite pleasing if I do say so myself! I hope you are as well.
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups fish or chicken broth (any light coloured broth would work)
- 2 cups diced turnips*
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon mace
- 1/2 lb cod fillets, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 cup chopped cooked shrimp
- 1/2 lb baby clams
- 1/4 lb small bay scallops
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- parsley for garnish
- Heat coconut oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté fennel, onion, and celery in the coconut oil for 5-10 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the broth, turnips, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and mace. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until turnips are tender. Remove bay leaves.
- Transfer soup to blender and pulse once or twice to refine. Return soup to pot.
- Add cod. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining seafood and coconut milk. Simmer uncovered for about 2 minutes until everything is cooked (but not overcooked and rubbery!).
- Portion into bowls, garnish with parsley, and enjoy!
*You can substitute rutabaga for turnip to make this recipe SCD compliant, though it might not taste quite the same.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure some chopped, cooked bacon would be a delicious addition!
Try it and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!
This recipe has been shared on Corn Free Everyday, Awesome Life Friday, Natural Family Friday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable, So Much at Home: Link Up Party, Foodie Friday and Fat Tuesday!