Fish chowder

It’s really difficult, if not impossible, to take a picture of a milk-based chowder that looks even a little appetizing. Let me promise you, though, that this easy soup is wonderful, nutritious and not loaded with calories.

The recipe’s from my new favorite food magazine, Taste of Home, in which almost all the recipes are from home cooks (thus, the title, Mr. Holmes), reliable, filling and good!

A Mary Davis from Palmer, Alaska, provided this particular treasure. She makes 16 servings at a time and takes the soup to potluck suppers. I cut it in half, and we should have eaten it in 2 days (a 2-cup serving has fewer than 400 calories and tastes like a lot more). Much as I adore fish, fish leftovers get to smelling, well, fishy after more than 24 hours.

She also used halibut which I didn’t find at the Statesville Market and Exchange. They did have fresh-frozen haddock which was  pricey, too, but worth it. This soup tastes like the very best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten.

Hot buttered cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to this chowder.

Halibut chowder

8 to 10 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 10-3/4-ounce cans condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted

2 10-3/4-ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

4 cups 2-percent milk

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cubed

1-1/2 pounds halibut or haddock fillets, cubed

1-1/2 cups frozen sliced carrots

1-1/2 cups frozen corn

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

In soup kettle, saute onions in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add soups, milk and cheese, cook and stir until cheese is melted. Bring to a boil.

Immediately reduce heat, stirring in fish, carrots and corn. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender. Add cayenne pepper if desired. Makes 16 1-cup servings, 198 calories in each.

I used skim milk and 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I also sliced fresh carrots and sauteed them with the green onions, rather than buying frozen. I used 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and we both — He Who’s Not Too Wild About Fish and I — thought it was a good addition. Aaarg, matey!

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