Creamy Scallop Chowder

2008 Jul/Aug


  • 4 bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 t. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 c.  fish or shrimp stock
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 c. crème fraîche or whipping cream
  • 1 T. canola or olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 lb scallops


In a large, heavy saucepan, sauté the bacon until crisp; remove from the pan, leaving only about a tablespoon of drippings behind. Set aside on a paper towel. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook for about 8 minutes, until pale golden. Add the thyme and cook for another minute, then add the stock, wine and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender; about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and stir to heat through.

In a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil and butter. When the foam subsides, add the scallops to the pan and sauté until golden, a minute or two per side, depending on their size. Cook them in batches so that you don’t crowd the pan, and stir them into the chowder as you finish cooking each batch. Divide the chowder among bowls, sprinkle with the bacon and serve hot. Serves 4 to 6.