Salt Cod Chowder

Monday was another experimentation in the kitchen day. What else would you do after having spent part of the morning doing a major clean of the gas range? You have to then set about making it a mess again.

I had a piece of salt cod soaking in water in the fridge. Originally I’d planned to make my Stockfish Soup in Stonehouse Cooks. But I wanted more of a chowder with lots of winter vegetables, what Gary has come to call one of my stoups, a cross between a soup and a stew. The result was this wonderfully satisfying Salt Cod Chowder.

About 1/2 pound salt cod.

Soak the cod in cold water for about 12 hours in the fridge. Change the water several times in order to clear the cod of excess salt. You may have to do this up to four times, depending how salty you wish your chowder.

Drain the cod one last time, pat dry and cut into bite-sized cubes.

1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
olive oil
black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock (or whatever you prefer)
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

In a large soup kettle saute all the vegetables in a little olive oil to soften and develop a little colour. Season with pepper. Add the cubed cod and saute for about 3-5 minutes longer. Add the stock, bring to the boil and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer about 30 minutes. Make a paste of the flour and water and stir into the soup to thicken it slightly. Simmer another 10 minutes. You could also use a heavy cream instead, but I opted for something a little more heart-healthy. Add parsley just before serving.

We had this with large crusty rolls.

Serves 6
Freezes well.

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