Put a fresh spin on comfort food with this veggie-packed summer chowder! Start with a light homemade stock, then call on a few of our summertime favorites: sweet corn, tender zucchini, and creamy potatoes. Quick-cooking seafood is the perfect addition to get this meal on the table fast (after the stock is prepared, of course!)
This recipe is featured in our Weekly Meal Planner Email Newsletter. Sign up for the meal plan here to have 6 great dinner recipes and a fun weekend bonus (along with a full shopping list) delivered to your inbox every Sunday!
- Olive oil, as needed
- 2 onions, 1 neatly chopped and 1 roughly chopped
- 4 stalks celery, 2 roughly chopped and 2 finely chopped
- 3 carrots, 1/2 roughly chopped and 1/2 finely chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (reserve the stalks and fronds)
- 2 large leeks, (save ends), finely sliced
- 2 lobster tails, cooked, shells reserved
- 1 pound cooked shrimp, save shells and tails
- 1 pound cooked sea bass, and or salmon (if using whole fish or steaks, reserve the large bones)
- 3 ears corn, kernels removed, cobs reserved
- 1 small bunch dill, divided (half chopped, half whole)
- 1 bunch parsley, divided (half chopped half whole)
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/ 2 pound potatoes, cubed and par-cooked
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (5 ounce) bag spinach, or kale or chard
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- large pinch chili flakes
- 1/ 2 cup cream, optional
- Flaked sea salt
- Ground black pepper
In your largest stock pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add roughly chopped onion, carrots, celery, fennel stalks and leak ends and cook about 3-5 minutes or until they are lightly brown and beginning to caramelize.
Add about 8 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp shells, lobster shells, large fish bones (if using) and corn cobs. Whatever scraps you may have leftover or went unused! Add the un-chopped portion of the dill and parsley. Cover and simmer for several hours. Check every hour or so to see if you need to add more water.
Pour stock through a sieve into another large pot or bowl (don’t accidentally let it run down the drain!) and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining chopped fresh veggies. If potatoes are raw, add them first and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Simmer until veggies are just barely tender. Add cooked shrimp, cooked fish (flaked) and cooked and chopped lobster and allow all to heat through. Garnish with remaining herbs. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
•Adjust quantities and ingredients to suit your taste and what you have on hand...
•The odds, ends, scraps and excess of the fresh veggies will create the stock- these may all be roughly chopped and tossed in and will be discarded once cooked down.
•Reserve all seafood scraps- shells, large bones as these will add depth of flavor to your stock.
•I always grill more seafood than I need for leftovers. These leftovers will he added to the finished stock
•The more pristine veggies will be nicely chopped and be set aside to add to the finished stock shortly before it’s ready to serve.
•I don’t cook with garlic (stomach issues). Feel free to add as much as you like.
•Leftover chowder freezes beautifully. I love to have this on hand for quick meals!