The Food Corner


by Paul Cormier, Salamanders of Kemptville

Moving along with soups, how about a Seafood Chowder? I made up a batch last Friday and it was goooood! We brought some over to our great neighbours, Doreen and Greg, and they said it was goooood! Once again, this is a very simple recipe with one simple rule: ensure that your fish and seafood is fresh or freshly thawed. Preparing it is a bit of a social event, with family members crowding around. Accompany this Chowder with an impertinent little Chardonnay and some fresh bread (for dipping).

Paul’s Seafood Chowder

2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups of milk
2 pieces of any white fish, preferably haddock
1 piece of salmon, or one tin of canned salmon
12 large shrimp cut into pieces
12 large scallops, cut into quarters
1 can of potatoes (or if you prefer, boil your own; I’m just lazy)
1 small can of smoked oysters
1 small can of smoked mussels
1 can of clams
1 cup of grated cheese (whatever you have left in the fridge: last Friday, I used some old cheddar and a bit of limburger)
Salted butter to fry the fish and seafood
Black pepper and if you have some Cajun Spice, otherwise use Cayenne Pepper

1. Open the two cans of soup and place in a soup pot with the 2 cups of milk. Turn on low heat to start the warming process. Wisk to break up the lumps.
2. Wash the fish thoroughly, then soak in cold water with a healthy splash of lemon or lime juice for a half hour while you are doing other stuff; then separate them into separate dishes and pat them dry with a paper towel.
3. Wash the shrimp and scallops and place the pieces into separate dishes; also pat them dry.
4. Open up the cans of smoked oysters, mussels and clams (and salmon, if you are using the canned variety instead of fresh or fresh frozen).
5. Drain the clams, keeping the juice; pour the juice into your soup mix.
6. Open up the can of potatoes, keeping the juice; also pour the juice into your soup mix. Quarter the potatoes and drop them into your mix.
7. Melt a dollop of butter in a pan until almost blackened: drop the white fish in and cook for a couple of minutes, dusting with Cajun spice or Cayenne; then break up the fish and empty the contents of the pan into the soup mix.
8. Repeat with the salmon (if fresh), but with no spices, and then over and over again separately with the shrimp, scallops, and clams; everything gets dropped into the soup mix.
9. Bring up your heat under your soup pot soup, but don’t boil; add your grated cheese and let it melt into the mixture.
10. Now rinse your oysters and mussels to remove the oil and drop them into the soup. If you are using canned salmon, do the same.
11. Very gently stir your soup until you have the beautiful thick mixture of a Chowder.

I hope you enjoy this delightful and easy to make Chowder. Please let me know how it went at [email protected].


  1. This recipe is a great freezer/fridge/pantry buster. Paul has, IMO, clearly indicated that it’s all about the process and the final product, and that switching in and out fresh/frozen/canned is all up to the chef. It inspired me to try making seafood chowder for the first time after years of asking my NS sister-in-law for her mouth-watering, but highly guarded recipe. Since making it the first time, I’ve added sautéed puréed leeks/scallions/scapes, used cream instead of canned soup, and switched in and out different fish and seafoods. I’ve even dared to make my own lobster stock for base. Thank you Chef Paul for writing this one up. It is now a staple in our home and for entertaining!


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