A memorable Lenten fish chowder

One of the real culinary blessings of Lent is getting the chance to explore the ever-growing bounty of meatless recipes.

Seafood chowders of all varieties have always been a favorite in our family especially during Lent. This year, a new twist on an old favorite incorporates mashed potatoes into the mix with delightful results. As good friend and co-worker Kathleen Bilancio says, “everything tastes better with mashed potatoes” and so does this chowder.

Fish Chowder with mashed potatoes

Ingredients: 1 lb. firm-textured white fish (halibut, monk fish, cod or catfish) cut in four pieces; 2 large carrots, thinly sliced; 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved diagonally; 1 Tbsp. olive oil;  14 oz. can vegetable broth; 2-1/4 cups water; mashed potatoes for four generous servings either home made with your own recipe or 1 container of refrigerator style mashed potatoes from the supermarket (I confess to enjoying refrigerator-style  mashed potatoes probably more than I should) warmed according to package directions; grated Parmesan cheese & black pepper to taste

Directions: Season the fish lightly with pepper. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook the fish, carrots and peas in hot oil over medium heat for 3 mintues. Add broth and water, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer covered for 3 minutes or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork.

 Place the mashed potatoes in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix in a soup ladle full of the broth from the Dutch oven to add flavor. Mixture should remain thick. Divide the mashed potato mixture among four bowls. Break the fish into bite sized pieces in the pot and then ladle the fish and vegetable mixture over potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Lenten Prayer before Meals 

Lord Jesus Christ, may our Lenten fasting turn us towards all our brothers and sisters who are in need. Bless this table and our good food, and ourselves. Send us through Lent with good cheer, and bring us to the fullness of your Passover


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