In the mood for a hearty chowder, but don’t feel like shucking clams? I have the perfect solution for you: scallop chowder.
The first time I had ever had scallop chowder was a couple years ago when we moved out to Washington. We went to Pike Place Market for a day of exploration. Around lunchtime, we needed something warm and filling. We went to Pike’s Chowder, and I was amazed with their selection. I ordered clam chowder, but Vito ordered scallop chowder. The moment I tried his chowder, I should have insisted we trade. Instead, I ate almost all of his and grudgingly gave him mine to replace it. It was that good.
While making our menu a few weeks ago, Vito suggested scallop chowder. He didn’t have to mention it twice; I was ready to go. It’s great for a cold day and doesn’t take half the day to make. It’s hearty enough to eat for dinner and not be hungry an hour later, especially if you serve it up with some good bread.
The whole family agrees the flavor of this soup is fantastic. I made the chowder with whole bay scallops. I figured they were tiny little things, so it would be a good size. I stand by that choice and loved the chowder. We did have one minor disagreement though. Vito and Emery felt the pieces of scallops were too large. They requested next time I make the chowder I quarter each of the scallops so they wouldn’t get such big pieces at once – neither of them cared for the texture of the scallops. Personal preference. The choice is yours.
- 3 strips thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 c potatoes
- 1 lb frozen scallops
- ½ c butter
- 2 c heavy whipping cream
- 2 c milk
- 2 c chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- In a large pot, brown bacon over medium heat.
- Remove bacon and add butter and scallops. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until scallops are thawed and partially cooked. Remove scallops and set aside. If you choose to quarter or halve the scallops, I’d do it here.
- Add onion, celery, and potatoes. Allow to cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Add cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix until cornstarch is incorporated.
- Add cream, milk, and chicken stock. Bring to low boil and cook for 15 -20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add scallops and bacon back into the pan and allow to cook for 3 minutes or so.