In a couple of weeks I’ve got my first beach weekend of 2016. In typical fashion, I’ve already started planning the meals. A chowder with a twist seemed like an ideal lunch after a potentially blustery morning walk on the beach. The test run was a hit and an astoundingly easy but unique chowder was born! The saffron and cream made the hearty soup seem decadent and all you need is a freshly baked baguette to complete the meal.
Saffron and Seafood Chowder
2 tablespoons butter
1 Leek, fully cleaned and finely chopped (1 ¾ cup)
1 cup finely diced yellow Onion (about 1 onion)
Sea salt and white pepper
24 oz. Clam juice
Pinch of saffron (1/2 g)
¼ cup minced chives, plus extra for garnish
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb white snapper, cut into bite sized pieces
½ lb small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1. In a large soup pot or cast iron, sauté leeks and onions in butter on medium-high, stirring several times, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.
2. Add in clam juice, 1 cup water, saffron, chives, corn and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on medium-low, 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. If you want a thicker consistency, puree the soup briefly with an emersion blender.
3. Stir in cream.
4. Season seafood with salt and white pepper and add to chowder. Simmer for 8 minutes on low until just cooked through. The fish should flake and the shrimp be a nice pink color.
5. Garnish with chives and serve warm.