If there’s one thing I truly get a kick out of before I leave on vacation, it’s making recipes with food I already have in my refrigerator. I don’t enjoy wasting good ingredients, and sometimes I do tend to over buy fruits, vegetables and proteins, that could use a good home. So, a few days before I go anywhere, I start creating meals with what I have on hand.
Soups, stews and chowders are a great place to use up summertime vegetables and fruits because produce doesn’t need much attention to make it taste good. For instance, fresh tomatoes can be diced up and tossed into broth instead of canned, to create a bubbling base to add other ingredients like scallions, bell peppers and corn. This chunky ménage a trois partners well with any type of seafood that you may have in your freezer such as, shrimp, tuna, halibut or any other hardy white fish.
Summer’s best foods tend to be tasty by nature, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves, and this chowder is no different. The icing on the cake are pan croutons, simply made with a few slices of sourdough bread. They create a delicate crunch and satisfying contrast to my sturdy soup. I love to ladle my chowdah into mugs, so I can carry it easily to an outdoor table. Using up what you have in your refrigerator is always a good thing.
4 large scallions or 1 small white onion + more for topping
1 bell pepper, any color
1 cup corn fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 medium summer tomatoes
1 pound seafood, diced – any combination
2 slices sourdough bread
salt & pepper
- In a saucepan or Dutch oven, add 2 teaspoon olive oil and scallions. Place over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and corn, stir. Continue to cook for 4 minutes, until softened.
- Add flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add broth and tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes allowing tomatoes to incorporate into broth.
- In a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. After 1 minute, add diced bread. Cook for 4 minutes, tossing to brown on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl until chowdah is done.
- Add seafood to chowdah and stir. Turn heat to low and allow seafood to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Ladle chowdah into mugs and top with scallions and croutons. Enjoy!