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Cod Chowder with Saffron

February 21, 2014

The saffron in this recipe reminds me of bouillabaisse, but that’s where the resemblance stops.  This soup is simpler, both in ingredients and seasoning, as well as in preparation.  I think of this chowder as Portuguese, not French.

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Cod Chowder with Saffron

1+ cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only — about 1 large leek)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3 8 oz. bottles clam juice

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

1/2 t sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds

1/2 cup frozen peas

12-15 mussels, scrubbed

1 lb. cod fillets, cut into 2×2 inch pieces, salted and peppered

olive oil, salt, pepper

In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, cook the leeks and garlic in olive oil until tender, stirring often.  Add the clam juice, water, thyme, sugar, and saffron, bring to a boil, and simmer about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cream.  Add the potatoes and peas and simmer 5 minutes more.  Add the mussels and the pieces of cod. Turn up the heat and cook gently just until the cod flakes and the mussels are open.  Correct the seasonings.  Serve with a crusty bread.

This is a very easy recipe.  I decided to make this when I was at the Wheatsville Coop  not long ago and saw that they had very nice fresh cod.  I filled in the blanks with a second quick shopping trip after checking the recipe.  Central Market had the fingerlings and mussels.

Bon appetit!


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