Seafood, Sausage, and Tomato Chowder with Spicy Red Pepper Puree

Seafood, Sausage, and Tomato Chowder with Spicy Red Pepper Puree


1/4 c. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 c. dry white wine or imported dry vermouth
1 can (28-oz.) Italian plum tomatoes with their juice
2 c. clam juice or fish stock
1 can (6-oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
pinch saffron
salt to taste
1/2 lb. hot-style bulk sausage, casings removed
3/4 lbs. extra-large or jumbo shrimp (allow 3 per person)
3/4 lb. scallops
1 dozen clams, scrubbed
3/4 lbs. flounder fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes

Spicy Red Pepper Puree:

1 slice white, wheat, or egg bread, crusts removed
3 tbsps. broth from chowder
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 jar (7-oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
2 tbsps. parsley sprigs
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
6 drops Tabasco sauce
3 to 4 tbsps. olive oil

To make broth:
In a large, heavy soup pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and parsley and saute’ 5 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add wine, juice of tomatoes, and tomatoes, breaking them up with your fingers, clam juice or stock, tomato paste and spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a skillet, breaking up with a fork, until no longer pink. Drain off fat and add to soup. Simmer 45 minutes or until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. (The chowder can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen.)

To make Red Pepper puree’:
Soak bread in 3 tablespoons soup until liquid is absorbed. Mince garlic in food processor with metal blade. Add bread, red pepper, parsley, basil, salt, and Tabasco sauce and process until pureed’. With machine running, add just enough olive oil to make a paste. The puree’ may be refrigerated up to 2 days, if desired.

Before serving: Bring soup to a simmer. Add clams, cover, and boil slowly until clams begin to open, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp, scallops, and flounder and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring until clams are open and shrimp are pink, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in soup bowls. Pass Red Pepper Puree’ and let each guest stir desired amount into chowder.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From Marlene Sorosky

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