This fish chowder is less traditional because it is made without dairy. It is simply cod, a base of clam juice, stock of choice, and fresh vegetables. The key to perfect fish chowder is poaching the fish gently so it perfectly flakes apart. This dish has a wonderful flavor from the onions, spices, and herbs. And if you’d like, add a quarter cup of cream at the end and stir, if that’s your jam. Serve with warm, crusty bread.


  • 6 slices chopped bacon, cooked
  • 1 small white onion, about 1 cup, diced
  • 1 small carrot, about 1/2 cup, diced
  • 1 medium stalk celery, about 1/2 cup, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 16 ounces baby yellow potatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable, fish, or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 4 6-ounce pieces cod
  • Chopped chives or parsley, for garnish, optional


  1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Turn heat to medium, and add onions, carrots, and celery to the same pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add clam juice, potatoes, stock, thyme, and saffron. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low boil, cover, but leave the lid slightly ajar to allow for steam to escape. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
  4. Taste chowder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cooked bacon.
  5. Sprinkle cod with salt and pepper; place on top of the chowder and gently push into the liquid, cover, and cook for 5 minutes to poach.
  6. Uncover the chowder, and stir slightly, breaking the fish into pieces.
  7. Garnish with chives or parsley, optional, and serve with warm, crusty bread.