Jan 12
2011

Shrimp, Potato & Fennel Chowder Recipe

ShrimpFennelSoupFinal

Last night I was looking back at my post titled Recipes for Winter: Soup, Chili, Stew & Curry and realized there is not a single soup on my site that boasts fish or shellfish as the main ingredient. For a person that will shamelessly lick the bottom of any bowl that contained shrimp or crab bisque, or open a big, fat bottle of Amarone just for an excuse to eat cioppino, this oversight lies just short of a travesty. As I am still making my way through New Year’s Recipes for Good Health in an effort to live long and prosper, I decided not to add cream or milk to this chowder. Now I can lick the bottom of that bowl with a clear conscience.

As I discovered when I made Spicy Potato & Fennel Soup, fennel (also known as anise) has a mellow, pleasing flavor that lends a calming influence to stronger ingredients. In this chowder, the fennel is sweated with onion (cooked on low heat to release some of the moisture) before being joined by the kick of red chile flakes and garlic, and simmered with chicken broth and red-skinned potatoes. The shrimp, the star of the show, is added in the last five minutes so that it does not become overcooked and rubbery.

The recipe:

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat.

ShrimpFennelSoup1

Add chopped onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in red chile flakes and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

Shrimp & Fennel Soup

Stir in chicken broth, turn heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add diced red-skinned potatoes, return to a gentle boil and cook until potato is tender, about 25 minutes.

ShrimpFennelSoup4

Stir in shrimp and simmer until shrimp is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Take care not to overcook the shrimp or it will become rubbery. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fennel fronds. Serve.

ShrimpFennelSoupLS

Other soups with shrimp:

Wrightfood’s Shrimp, Wild Rice & Spring Vegetable Soup
Rasa Malaysia’s Wonton Soup
Closet Cooking’s Pumpkin & Shrimp Bisque
Batter-Splattered’s Killer Shrimp Soup

Shrimp, Potato & Fennel Chowder

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium bulb fennel, cut into quarters and thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
1/4 tsp red chile flakes (or more, if desired)
1 clove garlic, minced
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 lb medium shrimp, shells and tails removed, cut in half crosswise
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in red chile flakes and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

Stir in chicken broth, turn heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add diced red-skinned potatoes, return to a gentle boil and cook until potato is tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and simmer until shrimp is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Take care not to overcook the shrimp or it will become rubbery. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fennel fronds. Serve.

Serves 6.

Printable recipe

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kate January 12, 2011 at 4:55 am

I am a huge anise fan and have started incorporating it into my soups too. It pairs so well with multitudes of things, my recent favo(u)rite being wild rice. A big hunk of crusty bread and some soup and I'm a happy camper. I love this recipe idea, it's going on my list of 'things to make in the new year'!

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2 theFromagette January 12, 2011 at 5:28 am

Looks fantastic and guilt free!!!

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3 Pegasuslegend January 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

I love it! Terrific soup, and huge seafood lover here! I love all kinds of fish in my soup…this ones a keeper thanks!

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4 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

i adore chowders…this one is no exception! i'm a little scared of the fennel in there, but it still sounds out of this world :)

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5 A Canadian Foodie January 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm

It's funny, it's odd, weird and contradictory. I completely enjoy – and sometimes LOVE fish soup when someone else makes it… but have absolutely ZERO desire to make my own. Shellfish soup, I always love… and have only every made clam chowder (so easy) – I LOVE shrimp and lobster bisques. Teach me how. Other fish and shellfish soups completely intimidate me. I think it's the prairie mentality. We love them, but don't live near an ocean.
Loved the read… HELP with the bisques?
:)
Valerie

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6 Maria January 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I need this to warm me up! It is so cold!

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7 Amanda January 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I'm with you… I LOVE shellfish!! Great recipe!

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8 doughmesstic January 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I have fennel. I am a cook/baker. I have never used the fennel. It frightens me…I don't know why. Maybe because my mother never used it. Of course, she doesn't use cardamom, or mace, or thyme, lavendar…okay – I'll give it a shot! Your soup looks incredible!

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9 Jeanette January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

What a nice clean looking chowder, with no cream!

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10 Belinda @zomppa January 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I'd lick this bowl upways sideways!

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11 Jason Phelps January 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I've got curried pumpkin soup on the stove right now, but these would have been a better alternative. I was warmed to see the Amarone reference. I know so few people who have ever enjoyed it!

Jason

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12 Brie: Le Grand Fromage January 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm

oh cool, i've never seen just shrimp in chowder before; usually it's seafood chowder, but this look delicious! it would be great on these cold nights, for sure.

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13 Cookin' Canuck January 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Kate – I have really fallen for fennel, too. The flavor is subtle and mellow, but adds something special to dishes.

Rachel, Claudia, Maria, Amanda, Belinda – Thank you!

Heather & Susan – There's absolutely nothing to be scared of…I promise! Fennel is very easy to work with – just slice the bulb in quarters and then cut into thin slices. The flavor is not overpowering in the least.

Jeanette – Despite not having any cream, this chowder is very hearty (and healthier).

Jason – Thank you. I have enjoyed many Amarones and they are always such a treat!

Brie – The great thing about using shrimp in this soup is that it cooks so quickly and is a lot less labor-intensive than crab or lobster.

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14 dario @ foodpixels January 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Shrimp, fennel and potato … great combination of flavours; this is a very nice recipe – love the photos, particularly the first one top of the page, for the lighting.
Dario

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15 Tracy January 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm

What a wonderful chowder. The shrimp makes it an easy recipe, and I love that!

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16 Cookin' Canuck January 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Dario – Thank you. I was able to just catch the last of the day's light for that picture.

Tracy – I was able to put this on the table in no time, and that was partially due to the quick-cooking shrimp.

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17 Drick January 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

did someone say shrimp? hey, I'm here… love your wording in this post, beautiful reflection of the taste from a reader's perspective – and a wonderful recipe too, shrimp & potatoes is a marvelous dish and you have done it wonders….

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18 Jenny January 13, 2011 at 4:47 am

What a great looking chowder. I can practically taste it from here!

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19 Cookin' Canuck January 13, 2011 at 4:49 am

Drick – Thanks so much. What a sweet comment.

Jenny – Thank you! You'll have to come to Utah for a visit. I'll make you a bowl or two.

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20 Monet January 13, 2011 at 6:13 am

Like you, I love eating soup with fish or shellfish in it…but I rarely get around to making it at home. I am so happy that you shared this hearty and flavorful chowder with us. It looks so good, and I've been craving shrimp. Thank you for sharing with me. Stay warm and safe during the rest of the week!

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21 Quay Po Cooks January 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

Chowder shrimps and fennel!!! all my favorite. I love this recipe! thanks for sharing.

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22 warmvanillasugar January 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I wish I could think up soups and chowders like you do! Your pictures are always so perfect!

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23 Chef E January 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I have seen a few post now on fish related stew/soup, now I have to make this. I love dill, but often use it in the summer. Need to bring summer into my cold house now!

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24 Emily Malloy January 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Dana, I am in loooove with this dish!

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25 Lauren's Latest January 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I could eat the whole pot and not have an ounce of guilt! I'll have to try this! Sounds and looks wonderful, Dara!

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26 BethAnnW January 14, 2011 at 12:27 am

I'm new to the blog, but I really love it, and this is a hit with everybody at my house. So – thank you!

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27 Chili Dude January 14, 2011 at 3:02 am

What a great idea!! Looks like a great recipe. I am going to have to try this one this weekend. I am going to cook it for the family.

Thanks

Chili Dude

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28 Tori January 18, 2011 at 5:20 am

This recipe looks perfect for these cold winter days! Bookmarking to make soon!

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