The old me, the one that weighed more than 300 pounds, was not a fan of soup. How can soup be enough to eat? Then, when I started my weight-loss journey, I learned how a good, healthy soup could be a great tool, and tasty too. But, certainly, healthy eating could not include chowders, traditionally made with bacon and cream. Thankfully, I was as wrong about that as I originally was about soup in general.
This soup is easy to do, creamy, flavorful and healthy. My wife, who loves chowder, was the first to go back for seconds. Even more telling, my 15-year-old son, who is convinced he doesn't like fish, chowed-down non-stop! To lighten traditional chowder, I used Canadian bacon, a wonderful lower-fat alternative to bacon, and a combination of evaporated skim and buttermilk for the evaporated and whole milk most often used. These provide the same creamy texture and flavor without all the fat.
Substitutions are a very important part of light cooking. When you think about your favorite recipes, break them down and look for places where you can substitute healthier ingredients--extra lean ground beef or turkey for burgers, applesauce for oil in backing, whole wheat pasta for traditional pasta. Watch for more healthy substitutions in the near future. Here are some suggestions from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services
For my Weight Watchers friends, this recipe works out to 6 points a serving.
Light and Luscious Fish Chowder
Makes 8 servings (1 to 1.5 cups each)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Canadian bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 medium potatoes, diced
1.5 pounds cod (cut into bite-size pieces)
12 ounces evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons light butter
salt and pepper to taste
In a stock or soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add Canadian bacon and saute until edges are crispy.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, saute until tender. Add potatoes and fill with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and and cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add fish, evaporated milk, buttermilk, and light butter. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with corn bread or a hearty whole-grain bread.