Source: Brooke Dojny

Shrimp, Fennel, and Red Potato Chowder
Any size of shrimp can be used here, but if you get the extra-large or jumbo size, cut them into slightly smaller pieces. Or use fresh or thawed frozen shrimp in the shells (which you will have to peel and devein.)
Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes


8 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups shrimp or seafood broth, or bottled clam juice, or a combination (see Note)
1 cup water
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved or quartered and sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 fennel bulb (about 8 ounces), halved and thinly sliced, plus 3 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds for garnish
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
2 pounds unshelled shrimp – either small Maine shrimp or any small or medium-size shrimp, or 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp (see Note)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Pernod, optional (see Note)
1/4 cup snipped chives

Melt the butter in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour, whisk for 2 minutes, then whisk in the broth, water, and half-and-half. Add the potatoes, fennel, and salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the shrimp and paprika, bring just to a simmer, and remove from the heat. Season with pepper and more salt if necessary. Let the chowder sit at cool room temperature for at least an hour or, better yet, refrigerate overnight.

Reheat the chowder over low heat, adding more broth, milk, or water if the chowder is too thick. Stir in the optional Pernod and chives. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with fennel fronds, and serve.

Note: If you have shrimp shells, make a quick broth. Combine the shells in a pot with about 1 teaspoon of salt and about 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cook, covered, for 20 minutes, and strain. Or you can use canned seafood broth, clam juice, or a combination of any of the above. Pernod is an anise-flavored liqueur; use it if you like a stronger anise flavor than the fennel alone provides.

Recipe from Chowderland by Brooke Dojny

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