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Satisfy Comfort Cravings With Seafood Soups and Chowder
Hot and Tasty, With Plenty of Good-For-You Omega-3s


November 1, 2003
Saturday - 12:50 am

Chow down on chowder? Why not? Soups and chowders are everybody's comfort food ­ almost as much fun to prepare as they are to eat. A piping hot pot of soup simmering on a back burner begs to be dipped into, whether for a soul-satisfying main course, appetizer or as an accompaniment to a salad or sandwich.

The comfort factor of soup is, perhaps, its greatest attraction. The word soup comes from the English term "sop," meaning a piece of bread soaked in liquid. Man has been eating soup almost since fire was discovered to cook it. The ancient Romans ate soup, including a type of fish broth cooked in wine and spices. Chowders are simply soups thickened with milk or cream - Manhattan-style clam chowder not withstanding!

Smoked Shellfish
and Corn Bisque

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
8 ounces smoked oysters, clams, scallops, shrimp or a combination, well-drained
2 cups 2% milk
Chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and red pepper; cook until tender. Stir in flour until well blended. Stir in potatoes, corn, broth and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in shellfish and milk; continue cooking until heated through. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley. Serves 4 main-dish servings.

There are as many kinds of soups as there are imaginative cooks to cook them, from thick chowders that are almost stews, such as clam chowder or bouillabaisse, to thin, clear consommés, and everything in between. Best of all, seafood soups are especially "good food;" their steaming broths rich with nutrients as well as good flavors.

Soup has achieved legendary medicinal status as a special source of nourishment, combining body-building proteins with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Seafood soups and chowders supply a double whammy of great flavor and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect against coronary artery disease.

There is now strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids (found in all seafood) may reduce arterial inflammation, postpone the development of arteriosclerosis, and protect against stroke caused by plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries that lead to the brain. In fact, eating at least two servings of fish-rich soup per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%. The American Heart Association says, "Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish benefit the heart health of healthy people, people at high risk of cardiovascular disease and patients with cardiovascular disease."

Seafood chowders are fast to fix because cubes of fish are quickly cooked in the steaming liquid of the broth. In general, boneless fish, especially mild, white-fleshed fish fillets of halibut, haddock, monkfish, tilapia, cod or catfish, work best, but don't overlook shrimp, clams, lobster and other types of shellfish, all of which bring their mouthwatering, briny burst of flavor to seafood soups.

A terrific pot of chowder can even come together with ingredients from the pantry and freezer. Fresh or frozen seafood works just as well, just microwave frozen fish fillets with a little water or white wine, then cool and cube the fish and add it to the soup.

Seafood soups can also form the basis of an effective weight-loss plan. Naturally low in calories and virtually carbohydrate-free, seafood supplies the protein source for a soup loaded with other low calorie ingredients, such as vegetables. And water-based soup fills the stomach up fast, so we eat less. A recent European study showed that women who ate soup as a first course at lunch consumed 26% fewer calories at that meal. Chowders made with skim milk add a bonus serving of calcium.

Seafood soup and chowder recipes, cooking tips and seafood health and nutrition information are found at, the web site of the National Fisheries Institute.

Smoked Whitefish Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15.6 oz) vegetable broth
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces hot-smoked whitefish, chunked
1/4 cup dry sherry
Hot pepper sauce


Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat; stir in onion, green pepper, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and sugar; reduce heat to low. Simmer about 10 minutes, or until flavors blended. Add smoked whitefish and sherry. Continue cooking until heated through. Season with hot pepper sauce and additional sherry, if desired. Yield: 4 Main-dish servings.


Source of News Release & photos:

National Fisheries Institute
Web Site


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