A Lenten Chowder

Well, Lent has arrived, and that means no meat today and the next seven Fridays.

I have a plan for tonight. My grandson, Rakeem, is coming over after school and will be staying for supper. I pulled out a package of walleye fillets from the freezer. It was fish he caught this past summer at Devils Lake while fishing with his Ohio cousins — Naomi and Theo.

I plan on picking up some Shore Lunch for baked fish. I like deep-fryed fish but have found that with the right coating baked tastes just as good and is much healthier.

For the next couple of months, I’ll be on the lookout for more fish and seafood recipes. After all, there usually are some pretty good deals at the local supermarkets, including the Hugo’s where I shop.

Today, I scoped out the following spicy shrimp and corn chowder soup recipe that will have cooks thinking Cajun.

Cajun Shrimp and Corn Chowder
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon Cajun or Creole spice or seasoning, divided, more to taste
2 12-ounce boxes frozen corn
2 cups chicken stock, more as needed
1 cup bay shrimp
1 cup heavy cream, more to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2½ tablespoons butter. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in 1 tablespoon Cajun spice, corn and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the corn is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, saute the shrimp. Season the shrimp with the remaining Cajun spice. Heat a large saute pan over high heat, melt the remaining butter and quickly saute the shrimp until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and move the shrimp to a bowl. Set aside in a warm place.
Stir the heavy cream into the soup and heat to a gentle simmer. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes to thicken the soup slightly.
Remove from heat and puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning as needed and stir in additional cream if desired. Stir in the cooked shrimp.
Serve the soup garnished with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 323 calories, 10 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 87 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams sugar, 476 milligrams sodium.