For day 7 of Soup Month 2013 we made a creamy Catfish and Corn Chowder that gets just a hint of background spice from creole seasoning. This soup is not overly spicy, so kids will enjoy it, but the adults can always add a few drops of Tabasco sauce if they would like a little additional heat.
Starting with a blend of onions, celery, orange bell pepper, and red potatoes, the soup gets its creamy consistency from the corn and milk that are pureed together. This allows the corn flavor to infuse into the soup and adds a little additional sweetness to the catfish. We also added some small shrimp and a can of chopped clams to the soup to round out the seafood flavors.
This soup is easy to prepare and can be ready to serve in about 45 minutes and tastes great served with a few baked clam shells on the side.
1-1/2 lbs Catfish, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp Creole or Cajun Seasoning
1/4 lb Bacon, chopped
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped
1/2 Orange or Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper, or more to taste
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 TB Minced Garlic
6 Red Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Corn Kernels
1-1/2 cups Half and Half
1 can Chopped Clams, with the juice
1/2 lb Cooked Salad Shrimp
Season the catfish with the creole seasoning and set aside.
In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, peppers, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the potatoes and stock and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
In a small bowl, combine the corn and half and half, then use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Add the corn mixture to the pot and bring to a low boil.
Add the clams and shrimp to the pot, stir, then add the catfish pieces to the soup, nestling them into the top of the chowder. Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.