A rich, velvety soup laden with potatoes, corn, and seafood, this is a quintessential New England chowder that's simply luscious.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 cups water
1 pound sea scallops or large bay scallops
1 cup milk or 1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 lemon wedges
sprig of dill or parsley for garnish
Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the onions, celery, thyme, and dill and sauté on medium-high heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, and 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil; then cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, if using sea scallops, cut them into quarters. Bay scallops may be left whole. Bring the remaining cup of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the scallops, and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until firm and opaque. Drain the scallops, reserving the cooking liquid, and set aside.
In a blender, combine the scallop cooking liquid, the milk or half-and-half, and 3 cups of the cooked vegetables and purée until smooth. Return the vegetable purée to the soup pot and stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the scallops and gently reheat for a few minutes, just until the soup is hot.
Top each serving with a sprig of dill or parsley or a few minced chives and accompany with a lemon wedge on the side for a little added zing.
As prepared, each serving contains 216 calories, 5.8g total fat, 33.2mg cholesterol, 580.8mg sodium, 31.2g total carbohydrate and 13.3g protein.