Ireland’s west coast is world-renowned for its scrumptious seafood.
4 oz bacon, diced
2 medium leeks, sliced in ½ inch rounds
4 large celery stalks, halved and diced
2 lbs potatoes, diced
1 lb sunchokes, peeled and diced (may substitute an additional pound of potatoes)
2 – 8oz bottles of clam juice
3 cups 2% low fat milk, room temperature
12 oz evaporated milk
1 lb firm white fish, cut into 1- or 2-inch chunks (use 2 pounds if omitting shellfish)
1 lb assorted shellfish with shells removed – shrimp, scallops, clams, squid, mussels, etc.
1 or more cups of chopped parsley
Cook the bacon in large dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat until it has turned brown and crispy. Once the bacon has browned remove it to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat. Add leeks and celery to pot and cook them until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes), stir frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and add the potatoes, sunchokes, and clam juice. Simmer the vegetables until the potatoes and sunchokes can be easily pierced by a fork – about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add all of the milk, then return bacon to the pot and add with the seafood. Simmer the chowder on low to medium low heat, make sure it does not begin to boil. The chowder is ready when fish has cooked through, about 15 minutes. The fish should be flaky, and any shrimp should be fully pink. Toss in a handful or two of finely chopped parsley and add salt and pepper if desired. Keep the chowder on low heat until ready to serve.