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Most chowders are packed with heavy cream and butter, but not Ben Pollinger's. The executive chef from Oceana Restaurant in New York City shared his easy-to-make, guilt-free fish chowder recipe.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 small head fennel, diced small about 1/4 inch
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
- 1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained, sliced in ribbons about 1/2 inch wide
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups water
- 8 3-ounce pieces of cod
- 6 basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
Cut onion in half and cut each half in quarters lengthwise, then slice thin against the grain. Cut potato in half and dice half about ¼ inch and reserve. Cut the other half into chunks. Put the larger chunks of potato in a small pot and add 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, simmer until tender and put aside. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a 4 quart pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender without color. Add fennel and small diced potato. Cook about 4 minutes until it starts to break down. Add red chili flakes and white wine and reduce until almost dry. Add water and red peppers. Strain the water from the cooked potato into the soup, mash the cooked potato well with a fork and stir it into the soup. Bring to simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add to soup and simmer gently, covered, for approximately 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove cooked fish to serving bowls, stir basil and spinach into soup to wilt. Ladle 8 ounces of stew into each bowl.