Thursday, December 20, 2007

Manhattan Fish Chowder

This soup makes a very satisfying dinner. Tilapia can be found in the frozen section of the Lost River Market & Deli. The clam juice can be found in bottles near the vinegars and salad dressings. Try this soup with a slice of some of the wonderful breads the store offers. Chunks of tilapia are added to this traditional tomato-based soup in the final minutes of simmering. The fish cooks quickly, without breaking apart. Note: Tilapia fillets have one thick side and one thinner side. To cut tilapia, halve the fillets along the center line before cutting them into chunks.

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes in juice
2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
2 medium baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper


In a large 5-quart pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice (breaking tomatoes up with a spoon), clam juice, and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil.
Add potatoes and thyme; reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add tilapia; cover, and cook until opaque and flaky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. With a ladle, spoon solids and liquid into six soup bowls; serve immediately.

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