This chowder is perfect when it’s cold outside—or make that downright frigid, as it is with the current Polar Vortex rearing its ugly head again. Here, fresh dill and cod take the place of parsley and clams, making this pottage taste deliciously different from the popular summer stalwart. For a soup so rich and satisfying, it comes together surprisingly quickly.
Our stock of fresh herbs consisted of everything except thyme, and as noted, the weather outside was no where near gardening season so I had to resort to using dried, which wasn’t a big deal. And while dill is probably my least favorite herb (although it has been growing on me lately), I strongly recommend that you purchase the fresh dill called for when you buy your fish because the flavor was perfect and not overwhelming.
Prep all of your ingredients first to ensure an easy flow while preparing the chowder. Keep in mind homemade seafood stock will provide so much more flavor than canned or boxed. If you don’t have any, try purchasing some at a local seafood mart. If you live near me, there is Madara’s (no relation to my Ex) Seafood at the Newtown Farmer’s Market. If all else fails, use clam juice.
We were thrilled that there was enough leftover for each of us to have lunch the following day.
Creamy Cod and Leek Chowder
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 large leek, trimmed, white and light-green parts halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (about 2 cups)
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart good-quality seafood stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 lb. cod loin, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. of the butter with the flour and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the oil in a 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, then add the potato and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek begins to brown, another 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the wine and cook until absorbed and evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium low. Add the stock, cream, bay leaf, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and bring to a low simmer.
- Gradually add the flour-butter mixture, stirring after each addition, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the cod and chopped dill, and simmer lightly until the cod is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with the dill sprigs and flaky sea salt.
Recipe by Ronne Day from Fine Cooking