Bay Scallop Chowder Recipe

personal chef fort lauderdale


John F. Kennedy | Bay Scallop Chowder 
"Soup was a dish close to the heart of President Kennedy, since it gave him an opportunity to be served the fish for which his New England background had given him a special appreciation."


Author Notes: My family celebrates Christmas eve by sitting down to a big dinner. Back when my siblings and I were in our 20s, these meals were long, epic affairs that last (…more) —Amanda Hesser


Serves 12


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces thickly sliced smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups bottled clam broth
  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Bouquet garni made with 2 bay leaves, 5 fresh parsley sprigs, 3 fresh thyme sprigs and 8 black peppercorns, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large leeks, white and tender green, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds bay scallops, membranes removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  1. Melt the butter in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the clam broth, chicken stock and bouquet garni to the casserole and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to moderately high heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. (The recipe can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to a boil before proceeding.)
  3. Add the diced potatoes to teh soup and cook over moderately high heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the heavy cream with the cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups cream, then whisk the mixture into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the leeks and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. (The chowder can stand at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Rewarm before finishing.)
  5. Stir the scallops into the chowder and cook over moderate heat just until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes; don't let the soup boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into a tureen or individual bowls. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve at once.