“New England” Style Fish Chowder

There is something comforting about eating a savory cup of soup. My first encounter with fish chowder was in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Fun fact: this seaside town is the site of the Mayflower’s landing in 1620. The area known for its seafood including lobster, crab, cod, and scallops. I am a huge fan of chowder and eating it in a charming seaside town only added to the experience. I created this recipe to pay my respect to New England Style Fish Chowder. Feel free to add any seafood you enjoy like, clams, mussels, fresh crab, or other hearty white fish. In my recipe I enjoy it with what was available in my local grocery, cod and scallops. You can even buy them frozen! I know fresh is always preferred but trust me, you will enjoy the frozen options. Remember to de-thaw them before using in your chowder. On the spices, you can use Old Bay (a popular seafood seasoning) or use a little paprika and dash of cayenne. This is going be your go-to chowder! It is perfect served as a starter for your barbecue, or as a main course with bread and oyster crackers. Enjoy your barbecue!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter (salted or unsalted)  

1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

2 cups clam juice (16 oz)

2 bay leaf

2 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay (optional, can use a little paprika and a dash of cayenne)

2 pounds cod, or other hearty white fish, pin bones removed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 lb. scallops (frozen option)

1 ½ cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Sauté onions in oil and butter. Heat oil and butter in the bottom of a large pot (6-qt) on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add wine, if using, and turn up the heat, cook, uncovered until the wine reduces by half. (If not using wine, add 1/4 cup of water with the clam juice.)
  3.  Add the potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper, and Old Bay spice. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost done, about 10 minutes.
  4. Heat cream: In a separate pot, heat the cream until steamy (not boiling).
  5. Add the fish to the pot of potatoes and add the heated cream. Return to the stove. Cook on low heat, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Keep your eye on the heat! When the fish is just cooked through, remove from heat. Mix in the parsley.

Note: Heavy cream helps avoid curdling, but if the temperature reaches boiling point it can curdle. Keep the temperature so that it barely gets steamy, but not simmering. You may have to remove from heat when it gets steamy then return to heat. Do this a few times until the 10 minutes are up.

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