Made with pantry basics and frozen shrimp, this express chowder makes for an easy hearty dinner any night of the week.
1/2 pound small to medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 (19 ounce) can creamed corn
About 2 cups diced potatoes, scrubbed and skin on
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 roasted red peppers from jar, chopped
2 slices pancetta or bacon, roughly chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream, to finish (optional)
2 tbsp. cilantro or parsley (optional)
If using, frozen shrimp, thaw shrimp in fridge or under cold running water.
Add butter and olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery and thyme. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until veggies start to soften. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock, creamed corn, potatoes, pinch nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to medium simmer. Let chowder cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Add shrimp and roasted red peppers. Cook until shrimp turn pink and curl, about 3 to 5 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, add pancetta to small fry pan over medium heat and cook until golden and crispy.
If desired, stir in whipping cream for a rich, creamy chowder. Garnish soup with pancetta and fresh herbs, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.