best seafood chowder

Always add a little of the water from the cooked mussels for great flavour for this soup.

Serves 6 takes 25 mins
500g frozen seafood marinara mix
15 fresh mussels (remove beards)
15 g butter
3 bacon rashers, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups fish stock
1 cup mussel water
2 cups grated raw potato
2 spring onions, finely chopped
4 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Defrost the seafood mix in the fridge overnight.
2. Add mussels to a large saucepan of boiling water, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 minutes or until shells have opened. Remove mussel meat from shells. Keep 1-2 cups of the mussel cooking water.
3. Heat butter in another saucepan and add bacon, red capsicum and onion. Cook over low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in milk/fish stock/mussel water. Adding a little and stir till it thickens and then adding more works well. Add potatoes and stir over high heat until mixture boils and continues to thicken.
5.Reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes so the potatoes cook and if it gets too thick add a little fish stock or water.
6. Add marinara mix, chopped mussels, spring onions and parsley. Season with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. Reheat mixture without boiling.
Cook’s tip: You can add corn, peas and mixed vegetables to this chowder if you desire. Secret ingredient: a splash of Worcestershire sauce adds great depth of flavour (it’s all those anchovies).