Fish Chowder in Bread Bowls
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Fish Chowder {and a Fish! story}

Fish Chowder served in a Bread Bowl

Fish Chowder served in Bread Bowls. <—- click here for Bread Bowl recipe.

I approached the seafood counter at Whole Foods without a plan.  Which is often how it goes.  I’m looking for the fish to speak to me.  Someone to stand out in the crowd.  On this day, the cod did more than speak….they sang to me.

Saying that reminds me of Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market.  Where the fish mongers are so passionate about fish you’re liable to ‘catch’ them flying through the air (the fish that is).  Several years ago, for our annual company meeting theme, we adopted the practices of this world famous market.  Not the practice of throwing fish, but the practice of delivering exceptional customer service.  Leading up to the meeting, each company member read the book Fish!  Do you know of it?


If you’ve never read it, pick up a copy and set aside an hour.  Once you start reading you won’t be able to put it down.  It’s the story of how one company, trapped in mediocrity, was able to transform their ‘toxic energy dump’ aka office, into an energetic and enthusiastic work place.

The Fish! Philosophy begins by Choosing Your Attitude, choosing to make each day a great day.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  You can work hard and Play hard while you’re at it, the results will amaze you and your stress level will thank you.  Be Present in body and in spirit; whether it’s with your family and friends, or for your customers and co-workers.  Listen with ears wide open.  And lastly, as you go about your busy day, find someone who needs a helping hand or a little extra support….you’ll be amazed at how Making Their Day will energize your own.

We had a great annual meeting that year, and have every year since.  Including the year we transformed our warehouse into Kitchen Stadium, so four teams (with individual ‘kitchens’) could compete for top honors….more about that another time.  I will share that yesterday we closed out the month of May with record sales.  Energy and enthusiasm can move mountains.

Fish Chowder anyone?

Fish Chowder in Bread Bowls

The recipe below is how I make Fish Chowder starting from scratch with raw fish.  The chowder pictured above is the love child of my Cod & Potatoes Poached in Milk and my Scotch Egg Sauce, which were dinner the night before.  I say two meals are better than one.

Fish Chowder served in a Bread Bowl

Fish Chowder {in Bread Bowls}

Libby with Lemony Thyme
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Servings 2


  • 1/2 lb. cod fillet
  • 4-5 petite potatoes fine diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tbl. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 bacon slices cut into 1/4-inch lardons
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 2 bread bowls see recipe link in post


  • In a heavy bottom pot, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon pieces and set aside. Add potatoes, onions, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs to pot and cook over medium heat until onion is just tender. Dust with flour and cook 1 minute until bubbly.
  • Whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are just tender.
  • Add in cod fillet and gently simmer for 5-6 minutes more until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with fork. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • Serve in bread bowls, sprinkle tops with crispy bacon and sliced scallions.


  • Sally

    It says it serves 2 is that two adult serves? And to make a dinner for 5 (2-adults 3-kids) can I double the recipe? And what would you recommend serving on the side or is it enough just on its own?
    Thank you can’t wait to try it

  • Donna Smith

    5 stars
    Well now … this was yummy! And, I made it with leftovers to boot. I had leftover potatoes and whitefish to use up today and this was a perfect way to use it. I didn’t have time to make bread bowls but they are on my list of things to make sometime. As the potatoes were already cooked, this came together very quickly. A perfect lunch – thanks!

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