2 6 Oz. Lobster tails, shelled and meat chopped into large pieces
3 Leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced into rings and washed thoroughly
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Lb. Baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 Tsp. Kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 Cup Clam juice
2 Bay leaves
1 Cup heavy cream, half and half or fat-free half and half
1 10 Oz. Bag frozen peas
1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
Pea shoots or pea sprouts (to finish soup)
Basil leaves, chopped (to finish soup)
Grated lemon zest (to finish soup)
Flaky sea salt (Maldon is a favorite)
6) Serve the chowder in shallow soup bowls and top each with some pea shoots, basil and lemon zest. Sprinkle with some flaky salt and several grinds of fresh black pepper.
NOTES: This recipe was adapted from an Epicurious recipe. I loved the recipe, but made it my own with several substitutions that work for me. My Spring Peas, Shrimp and Lobster Soup recipe is just easy to make and is done in under a half hour. I’ve given you options for the cream base. Whether you use full-fat, heavy cream or fat-free half and half, this soup comes out great every time.
I’m a big fan of chowders and make them a lot in the summer. If you are a fan too, be sure to try my Shrimp and Lobster Corn Chowder recipe. A long time favorite.
To get started on this recipe, pull together all your ingredients and start to prep them. Make sure your frozen peas are thawed. Quarter your potatoes. Cut off the root bottom and the dark green parts of the leeks. Then, slice the white and light green section into thin rings. Put them into a large bowl with water and swish them around to remove any grit. Leeks grow in the ground and tend to have sand within the leaves. Discard the sand and water and keep your washed leeks in a bowl.
Add the olive oil to a dutch oven. Add your sliced and washed leeks and stir to coat all the leeks. Cover the pot and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the leeks are translucent.
Now, add the potatoes, a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and toss to combine everything. Next, add the clam juice, bay leaves and two cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Then, lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 10-12 minutes until you can easily pierce the potatoes with the tip of a knife.
While the potatoes are cooking, chop your shellfish and season with salt and pepper. Note, you could substitute one pound of a white fish like cod or halibut. You could also use different types of shellfish like clams, mussels and scallops. Use the fish and/or shellfish that you like.
Add the chopped shellfish to the pot along with your choice of heavy cream, half and half or the fat-free half and half, and the peas. Stir to combine. Another note on your choice of cream/milk. You can use a combination of any of the above. If I want to really lighten this up, I use the fat-free half and half. If I’m going to do rich and decadent, I use full heavy cream.
After the shellfish are cooked through (about 2-3 minutes for the shrimp and lobster I used), take the pot off the stove and squeeze in the lemon juice.
To serve, add to shallow soup bowls and then top each bowl of soup with pea shoots, fresh chopped basil, some lemon zest and a pinch of flaky salt. While you can buy pea shoots at grocery stores and specialty markets (I’ve seen them at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Mother’s Market), I grow my own using hamama.com at home. Talk about a fresh, fun hobby? Love it!
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out some of my other favorite soup recipes:
Beef, Vegetable and Barley Soup
The Healthiest Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Minnesota Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup