A few years ago in Dingle, Ireland, I had the best seafood chowder I have ever had. It was from a hole-in-the-wall cafe called Goat Street Social. If you’ve never been to Dingle, GO! Especially if you’re planning a trip to Ireland. It is an idyllic town full of kind and warm people who make their livings fishing and supporting tourism.
Sadly, I don’t think Goat Street Social survived the pandemic. A Google search shows that they are permanently closed.
The seafood chowder recipe in this post is my attempt to bring back the wonderful and happy memories from Dingle. Walking past the harbor on the way way to class and seeing the boats lined up and smelling the harbor’s mild saltiness. Having perfectly poured Guinness in dark pubs among the hum of conversation. Exploring restaurants, pubs, and souvenir shops among the narrow streets. And kayaking past dolphins and jelly fish on my way outside of the harbor.
Now this chowder isn’t exactly like the one I had in Dingle. I don’t live in a fishing village on the Northern Atlantic Ocean, so my seafood isn’t the same quality that they have in Dingle. I also didn’t use the variety of seafood that they used at Goat Street. If you can find a variety of seafood at high quality where you live then, of course, add more variety to your chowder!
- 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 2 russet potatoes diced
- 1 lb mixed seafood (such as salmon, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, etc.)
- 2 cups vegetable or fish stock
- 2 cups half and half
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- Heat the oil or butter in a medium-large soup pot or dutch oven. Saute the vegetables in the oil until the onions and celery have started to soften and turn translucent.
- When the vegetables are soft, season them with salt and pepper and add the stock and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender (a fork goes into them without resistance but they aren't falling apart).
- When the potatoes and carrots are fork tender, add your mixed seafood and the half and half. I used salmon that I cut into large pieces, medium sized shrimp, and baby bay scallops. Poach the fish in the soup until it it is fully cooked (about 5-10 mintues).
- Finish the soup with the zest and juice of one lemon and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a piece of toasty bread or crackers!