Lighter seafood chowder

This chowder is incredibly flavoursome and a lot lighter than traditional fish chowder. I’ve been curious to see whether removing dairy from my diet could have health benefits for me, so this is my milk- and cream-free take on this classic soup. I used homemade fish stock made from snapper frames, but you could use vegetable stock; it just might not be quite as tasty.

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 leek, white and light green parts, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds then quarters

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tbsp flour

pinch of paprika

pinch of chilli flakes

1 litre fish stock

1/3 can coconut cream

200–250g firm white fish (I used tarakihi), diced

150g raw prawns or prawn meat

zest and juice of 1 lemon

crispy friend pancetta, to garnish

fennel fronds, parsley or dill fronds, to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add leek and cook for 4–5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add garlic and carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes, taking care to not let the garlic burn.

Add potatoes, flour, paprika and chilli flakes and stir until vegetables are lightly coated in flour.

Add fish stock. Scoop the cream from the top of the can of coconut cream and stir this into the mix. I used about 2 tablespoons of it, but you can vary this depending on how creamy you want your chowder, or how much coconut flavour you want. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

Add fish and prawns and cook for 3–4 minutes, until just cooked through. Take care not to overcook.

Stir through lemon zest and juice.

Divide between bowls and garnish with crispy pancetta and fennel, parsley or dill.

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