This recipe is from Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way, one of his cookbooks and I recently saw him prepare this on his PBS cooking show. I followed the recipe but did add a few baby red potatoes which I had boiled, peeled and cut into cubes. I used fresh cod as the fish fillet. And of course we had to have our chowder with some Oyster Crackers.
2 T good olive oil
1 ½ cup trimmed, split and sliced leeks
1 T coarsely chopped garlic
2 ½ cups bottled clam juice
1 ½ cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped white mushrooms
¾ t salt
1 ½ cups diced (1/2 inch) zucchini
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
¾ cup 1-inch pieces peeled uncooked shrimp
1 cup 1- inch pieces boneless fish fillet
2/3 cup half and half
About ½ cup crabmeat, for garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
When hot, add the leek and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the clam juice, water, mushrooms, and salt, bring to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle the potato flakes on top, mixing them in with a whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. ( The soup can be prepared several hours ahead to this point.)
leeks and garlic sauteing:
Whisking in potato flakes:
At serving time, bring the soup back to a boil, add the shrimp, fish, and half- and- half and bring back just to a boil. The fish and shrimp will be cooked through. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle about 2 T crabmeat, if using, onto the middle of each serving. Serve immediately.