Scallop and Bacon Chowder
Pairs Well With
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
— Grated zest of 1 small orange
3-4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
— Black pepper in a mill
2 cups homemade fish fumet or 1
16-ounce bottle clam juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh sea scallops, trimmed and quartered
— Kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
3-4 teaspoon creme fraiche or sour cream
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Put the chopped bacon into a medium saucepan or soup pot, set over medium heat and sauté until the bacon releases much of its fat. Add the shallots and carrot, reduce the heat and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ginger, orange zest and potatoes, stir, and season generously with black pepper.
Add the fumet or clam juice (if there isn’t enough clam juice to fully cover the potatoes, add water), bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer very gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, put the butter into a small to medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat. When the butter is fully melted and begins to take on an aroma of hazelnuts, add the scallops, toss and cook for about 90 seconds, just enough to sear them. Season with salt and remove from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to purée the potatoes. To do so, hold the blender in your dominant hand and tip the pan slightly with your other hand. Continue to puree until the soup reaches your preferred texture; you can leave it slightly chunky or take it all the way to smooth. Stir in the cream and heat through.
Remove from the heat and stir the scallops into soup. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle into soup plates or bowls and top each portion with a teaspoon of creme fraiche or sour cream, scatter chives on top and enjoy right away.