Red Shrimp Chowder with Corn and Bacon

Red Shrimp Corn Chowder

When the cooler months of Fall and Winter kick in, there is nothing better than a good chowder — be it corn, shrimp or fish.  I have been partial to cream-based New England style chowders for most of my life, but since joining the ranks of Weight Watchers years ago, I only allow myself a cream-based chowder once or twice a year.  Instead, I have found myself rediscovering and experimenting with healthier tomato and simple broth-based versions.

This particular chowder is one of my discoveries from last year.  Packed with shrimp, potatoes and corn, and garnished with canadian bacon crumbles, it is delicious, hearty and healthy.  While the original recipe was relatively lean itself, I did skinny it down even more by substituting reduced fat margarine for butter, and canadian bacon for regular bacon.  This did not impact the flavor at all.  I can’t wait to enjoy this fabulous chowder again once temperatures drop down a bit more.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

In a medium pot, bring the stock, broth or water to a boil with the shrimp shells, corncobs and basil stems and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the margarine and fry the canadian bacon. When the bacon is crisp, lift out with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Fry the onion, garlic, celery, fennel and carrots in the hot fat until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Strain the shrimp-flavored broth into the pot. Add the corn kernels, potatoes, bay leaf and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush a third to a half of the potato chunks against the side of the pot.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and juice, return to a boil, simmer 10 minutes more.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Add the shrimp, stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt, black pepper and more red pepper flakes to taste. The shrimp will cook from the heat of the soup.

Red Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the basil ribbons and some bacon.

Red Shrimp Chowder with Corn and Bacon
 
Weight Watchers Info: 8 PointsPlus per serving
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fish stock, clam broth, or water
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shelled, chopped into pieces roughly ½-inch thick, shells reserved
  • 4 ears corn, shucked, kernels cut off, cobs and kernels reserved (or 2 cups frozen or canned)
  • 2 basil sprigs, leaves cut into fine ribbons, stems reserved
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • ¼ pound canadian bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into ¼-inch dice (I left this out, too)
  • Half a fennel bulb, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • Salt
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved (we go with diced tomatoes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring the fish stock, clam broth or water to a boil with the shrimp shells, corncobs and basil stems and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the butter and fry the bacon in it. When the bacon is crisp, fish it out with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Fry the onion, garlic, celery, fennel and carrots in the hot fat until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Strain the shrimp-flavored broth into the pot. Add the corn kernels, potatoes, bay leaf and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush a third to a half of the potato chunks against the side of the pot. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and juice, return to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  5. Add the shrimp, stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt, black pepper and more red pepper flakes to taste. (The shrimp will cook from the heat of the soup.) Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the basil ribbons and some bacon.
Notes
Start with step 2 if your stock is already made.

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