This recipe really hits the spot in winter. To me, cold weather calls for a really hearty seafood chowder! I first thought that chowder is a smooth white-ish creamy soup – but it isn’t – it is a hearty chunky soup (with bits of colour allowed!) which just hits the spot in wet and chilly weather. Here follows my recipe – it turned out delicious – Feel free to improvise – I always do. It depends on what I have at hand – which means I usually just have the basics! But don’t leave out the wine (a glass for the soup and a glass or more for the cook!) and the cream, and the abalone of course!! That’s why you should always have a tin of abalone in the pantry or some in the freezer


Ingredients: 2 T Butter, 1 onion, pinch or two of dried thyme, 1/4 cup flour, stalk celery finely chopped (optional), 1 carrot finely sliced, 500g potatoes peeled and chopped, 1/2 cup corn/cauliflower/broccoli, 1/4 tsp fish sauce, 1 litre hot stock (veg or chicken), 200 ml abalone sauce from tin, 1 can abalone mince / abalone pieces (or 200g fresh abalone) finely sliced, 1 cup marinara seafood mix (optional), 250 ml wine (for the recipe), 200 ml cream.

Method: Put music on and pour yourself a glass of wine. Fry the chopped onion in the butter, add the thyme. Add the flour and stir for a minute or two. Slowly add stock while stirring (a whisk helps to prevent lumps). then add the veggies. I love the colour of the different veggies. Add a bit of fish sauce, less is more in this case – this is potent stuff. Add the abalone sauce from the tin – again to taste, this bit also adds salt so don’t add too much. Bit by bit and keep tasting. Add the wine. Simmer until the potatoes are just getting soft. I had a bit of marinara mix in the freezer and so I added that, with the drained abalone mince (or abalone pieces). Simmer gently for further 5 – 10 minutes. Right at the end add the cream and heat through. Check for salt / pepper / maybe a dash of chilli?. Serve with a tiny bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh parsley (yep – I did not have that either, mine came from the freezer)

With freshly made sourdough bread to accompany the chowder this becomes a meal divine!

Enjoy and …

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