Alaska is famous for it’s impeccably fresh fish, and the fish dishes there are incredible! I first fell in love with Salmon chowder in Anchorage; it’s served in several sidewalk cafes and all of the major restaurants. After tasting the Salmon chowder there, I came home and developed my own version using a homemade soup mix and varying the types of fish according to what I had on hand.
If you use very fresh fish, this shortcut soup is as good as that served in Alaska, in fact, using the Basic Cream Soup Mix (the link is at the bottom of this recipe), you can have fabulous seafood chowder in 30-45 minutes. The bacon adds a smoky flavor to the soup, as well as additional texture. I like to serve this soup with crusty bread, and sprinkle it with a few oyster crackers.
For an even quicker soup, you may use dehydrated onion, celery, and green pepper from your storage. Or, if you’ve prepared ahead, chopped extra vegetables, and stored them in your freezer, you won’t have to chop veggies. Cutting your hands-on prep time is one of the best ways to make recipes quicker.
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped (or 1/4 cup dried)
2 stalks celery, chopped (or 1/4 cup dried)
1/2 green pepper, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
6 cups water
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (or more according to your taste)
2 cups Basic Cream Soup Mix
1 pound fresh fish steaks or fillets (halibut, salmon, cod, snapper, etc., cut into large chunks)
1/2 pound raw shrimp, cleaned
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven until very crisp; remove bacon and drain on towels; set aside. In the bacon fat (pour off all but 1-2 tablespoons), add the onion, celery, and green pepper, and sautè until tender. If using dehydrated vegetables, mix them in a bowl and add a cup of water, then proceed as with the fresh veggies. Add the six cups water and the potato chunks to the sautéed vegetables, bring the water to a boil, and cook 10-15 minutes or until the potato chunks are cooked through. Whisk in the cream soup mix, breaking up some of the potatoes. Stir in the fish and shrimp and simmer for five minutes or until barely cooked through. Season to taste and top each serving with the crisp bacon.
Basic Cream Soup Mix.