South Coast Chowder

Stretching from Buzzards Bay to Narragansett Bay, roughly from Taunton past New Bedford to Fall River, the South Coast of Massachusetts is known for its diverse population and, especially, for its Portuguese fishermen. And it is famous for its Portuguese-style seafood soups and chowders. Unlike the creamy Irish-style “New England” chowders found farther north, these have a distinct Mediterranean flair. (Manhattan clam chowder actually originated here.) Besides a variety of fish and seafood, these chowders include spicy Portuguese chourico sausage. In fact, I would say that chourico and tomatoes are pretty much the essence of South Coast soups. So feel free to use whatever fish or shellfish you have on hand. You can hardly go wrong.

Ingredients

 

Olive oil

1 tablespoon

15 ml

Bay leaves

2

2

Chourico, sliced ¼ (6 mm) thick

6 ounces

170 grams

Onion, chopped

6 ounces

170 grams

Green bell pepper, chopped

4 ounces

110 grams

Tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 14½ ounce can

1 411 gram can

Garlic, minced

1 tablespoon

15 ml

Allspice berries

4 or 5

4 or 5

Firm potatoes, cubed

12 ounces

340 grams

Fish stock or clam juice

about 2 cups

about 500 ml

Pimentón (optional)

¼ teaspoon

1 ml

Old Bay™ seasoning (optional)

½ teaspoon

2½ ml

Salt and pepper

to taste

to taste

Minced clams

1 6½ ounce can

1 184 gram can

Cod or haddock, cubed

8 ounces

225 grams

Method

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over a medium flame. Brown the bay leaves in the hot oil for a minute or so then add the chourico. Cook, stirring often, until rendered and brown. In the same pot, sauté the onions and bell pepper until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and allspice to the mix and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot along with enough stock to just cover them. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the pimentón and Old Bay™ seasoning, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

Gently fold the clams and fish into the broth. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

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