PRETTY IN PINK DECADENCE SEAFOOD CHOWDER
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, white and light green parts chopped (about 2 cups)
3 celery ribs, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup fennel fronds, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Superbly Herby Spice Blend
1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Spice Blend
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups seafood stock
2 tablespoons lobster base
2 cans, 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
1 pound fresh chopped clams
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound sea scallops (cut in half if very large)
1 pound large shrimp (16/20 per pound peeled and deveined)
1 pound haddock filet, skinned and cut in half (or other white fish such as cod or halibut – also yummy with salmon)
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite size pieces
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot (7-8 quart) over medium high heat. Add the leeks, celery, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, and bay leaves to the pot. You can add them as you cut them, stirring the contents of the pot frequently and after each addition. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies are very soft and fragrant and just begin to lightly brown.
Add the cornstarch, Superbly Herby and Ciao Bella seasonings to the pot and cook, stirring, for one more minute to allow the corn starch to absorb and so the spices can ‘bloom’. Add the white wine scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze and release any brown bits that have developed.
Add the seafood stock, lobster base, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a low boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the heavy cream, dill, and red pepper to the pot. Bring back to a low boil and cook for another 10 minutes, allowing the soup to reduce and thicken. Stir occasionally.
Add the scallops, shrimp, and fish to the pot and bring back to a low boil, stirring frequently. Let cook on a low boil until the fish breaks apart and the shrimp and scallops are cooked through. Add the lobster meat and remove the bay leaves.
Cook on a simmer for 20-30 minutes letting flavors continue to meld. Serve hot in bowls, garnished with dill and with crusty bread on the side for dipping.