RECIPE: Low Calorie Seafood Chowder | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures RECIPE: Low Calorie Seafood Chowder | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Low Calorie Seafood Chowder

Lower calorie “chowder.” Photo courtesy

We just discussed transforming favorite, calorie-packed recipes with lighter cooking techniques. This recipe for a lower calorie seafood “chowder,” from Swanson’s, substitutes vegetable broth and tomato soup for the cream used in many chowders.

FOOD 101: Call it what you want, but even with cream, this is not a chowder. Chowders are enriched with salt pork fatback and thickened with flour or crushed soup crackers—two ingredients that define a chowder, but are missing from this recipe. In addition, potatoes as well as other vegetables are typically added to a chowder; this recipe omits the potatoes.

You can call it “chowder” for marketing purposes (i.e., making the dish sound more exciting to your family). But know in your heart that it’s simply “seafood soup.”



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups Swanson Vegetable Broth
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 package (about 10 ounces) frozen whole baby carrots, thawed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound fresh or thawed frozen firm white fish fillets (cod, haddock or halibut), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound fresh large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3/4 pound mussels (about 12), well scrubbed and beards removed
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    1. HEAT the oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion and thyme and cook until they’re tender. Stir the water, broth, soup and carrots in the saucepan and heat to a boil.

    2. ADD the fish. Cover and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Discard any open or cracked mussels. Add the shrimp and mussels.

    3. COVER and simmer for 3 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork, the shrimp are pink and the mussels open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.


    A brief history of soup and the different types of soup.


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