I have tried several fish chowder recipes, but this is my favorite – a basic chowder brimming with fish and vegetables, fit for a main course as well as an appetizer. I like a thick chowder, but you can substitute milk for some or all of the cream if you prefer a thinner soup. This recipe is adapted from one contributed by Ruth Kotlier to Specialty of the House, a cookbook put together in the mid-seventies by the Sisterhood of Temple Israel in Boston.
2 pounds chowder fish (I prefer cod or haddock, but you can use any firm white fish)
2 large potatoes, cut in 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/8 pound butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups water
2 cups heavy (or whipping) cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute onion in butter until transparent, but not browned. Remove from pot and set aside. Add potatoes and water and cook for 15 minutes. Add fish, carrots, and sauteed onions and cook gently for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and fish is cooked through. Add cream (or milk) and seasonings to taste. Heat, but do not boil.
This chowder is delicious when first made, but even better (and thicker) when made a day ahead.