Seafood chowder/Sopa Branca do Mar
Fish and seafood soups are often proud specialities for restaurants all along Portugal’s coast. Different varieties of fish and shellfish combined with rich fish stocks and vegetables make these soups a substantial meal and a great use of off cuts and left overs if you have lots of fish and seafood around the house. You can also ask your fishmonger to make you a soup mix.
This recipe is a healthy (low carb, lactose and gluten free) version of a seafood chowder and substitutes cream for a mix of almond milk and silken tofu. This makes for not only a lighter and healthier dish but also allows the intense seafood flavours to come to the fore. The key for a rich flavoursome soup is a good shellfish stock, made here by simply steaming cockles and mussels. Types of fix and quantities are very flexible so do experiment…
1 pack of silken tofu (250gr)
3 cups of almond milk (have some more ready in case consistency needs to be adjusted)
150gr salmon chucks
150gr white fish (Cod, hake…)
Juice of half a lemon
150gr sweetcorn (tinned)
2 carrots (chopped into small chunks)
2 sticks of celery (chopped into small chunks)
4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
Small bunch of coriander
Salt to taste
1. Thoroughly wash cockles and mussels in cold water (removing the “beard” if necessary) and cook in a large pan with 1 tbsp coconut oil and the garlic. Shake the shellfish regularly and cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the cockles and mussels open. Add the lemon juice and set to the side.
2. In a blender mix the tofu and almond milk at high speed until a creamy mix is achieved.
3. In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil and fry the celery and carrot. In the meantime remove the meat from most of the cockles and mussels (keep some shelled to serve). Then, add the shellfish stock to the pan with the celery and carrot, being careful not to pour the very bottom as it normally collects broken bits of shell.
4. Once boiling, add the salmon, white fish and sweetcorn, turn down the heat and the cook gently for a couple of minutes. Finally add the tofu milk mix being careful not to boil, let warm through, add the cockles and mussels, chopped coriander, season with salt and a dash of Tabasco.