Like most Zero Carb recipes, this is very flexible.
Remember, even with the name zero carb, we know that some foods like fish or cream have trace amounts of carbs, so the title can be misleading. Just know that we primarily eat foods from the animal kingdom and don’t measure calories or count the trace amounts of carbs. Full-fat dairy products are allowed if tolerated, and seasonings are allowed for flavor.
This is a great dish for company and for those vegetarians who occasionally eat fish. It is not low fat, however. But you don’t have to mention that.
Clam broth (available in 8-ounce bottles in the canned fish section) or homemade fish stock
Any variety white fish or salmon
Seasonings (dill, and dried chives or onion powder are great), salt, pepper, etc.
• Heat a Dutch oven or 4-5 quart pot on medium heat.
• Cut bacon into small pieces. I use about ½ pound of sliced bacon, (or a little more; you can’t go wrong!) and I cube it into about ½ – ¾ inch pieces.
• Fry the bacon in the soup pot, stirring occasionally, until most of the bacon is browned and crisp, but not burnt. You can spoon off some of the bacon grease at this point or leave it in there with the bacon.
• While you’re keeping an eye on the bacon, loosely chop the fish into 1-inch pieces. You can use the same cutting board that you just used for the bacon. Use about 2 pounds of fish.
• At this point, I sprinkle in about half of the seasonings I am going to use – a bit of dill and dried chives. Then add the fish pieces. Stir a bit and let the fish fry up in the bacon grease for a couple of minutes. Stir once or twice.
• Then add about 16 ounces of clam broth; this is two 8-ounce bottles. Or two cups of fish stock. You could use chicken broth if you had nothing else. But you will love the taste of clam broth! Turn the heat up to high only long enough to bring the chowder to a simmer. Then turn the heat back down to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
• When the fish is now white and cooked, add in a touch of salt, some pepper, (White pepper is fantastic in chowder) and a little more dill and dried chives, or onion powder.
• Then add in some heavy cream – maybe about 8 ounces? You can also add a couple tablespoons of butter, if you removed some of the bacon grease after frying the bacon. Taste and adjust the cream or salt, as desired.
• Stir and simmer only a few minutes. Ready to serve!
Tastes delicious the next day, too! I wouldn’t keep it several days, however; fish is tricky. This will not freeze well.
Change the quantities as desired. Double or triple the amounts for large crowds. Use more or less clam broth or cream, etc. Make it dairy-free and use a bit more broth or fish stock. This would be more of a fish stew than a chowder, but still yummy.
You could always add in other shellfish, (fresh or frozen) like clams or mussels or shrimp, or even canned fish like tiny shrimp, clams, oysters, etc. Whatever you like! I tend to stick to plain fish, but I love shellfish, too. My husband makes a quick version of this with no bacon and uses frozen mussels that are already cooked.
Be careful if you use any canned or smoked fish – this will be salty, too, and you will not want to add any salt at all to the chowder until you taste it.
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