8 ratings

Norman Van Aken's Bahamian Fish Chowder


Chef Van Aken writes: "I have made a version of this soup for over 20 years now and I never tire of it. It’s one of those soups that actually can be a full lunch or dinner. As with many soups, this improves if made a day ahead of time, which makes it an ideal party dish. I like to keep it traditional and offer a shot of dry sherry at the table. It really rounds out the flavors. Serve with warm bread and butter in that the soup is a touch spicy."

Deliver Ingredients


  • 2 Ounces diced slab bacon, rind removed
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic, sliced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and diced medium
  • 4 celery stalks, cleaned and diced medium
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced medium
  • 1 small bulb fennel, diced medium
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced medium
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 quart peeled plum tomatoes, thoroughly crushed
  • 2 Cups tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 quarts shellfish stock or clam juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons each of fresh thyme and basil, chopped
  • 2 1/4 Pounds fish (for instance, grouper, snapper, or pompano), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 1/4 Pounds red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked
  • Tabasco, to taste, if desired


In a very large soup pot or Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, cook the bacon with olive oil. When the bacon is almost cooked, add the Scotch bonnet and garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel, and yellow pepper. Stir to coat and caramelize (8-12 minutes). Add crushed red pepper.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock, bay leaves, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat and add the fish pieces and the pre-cooked and drained potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes more.

Add Tabasco to taste then serve, or chill for later use.

Ham Shopping Tip

Bone-in cuts tend to be slightly less expensive than their boneless counterparts, and have more flavor.

Ham Cooking Tip

According to the USDA, the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.