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Feast of the Seven Fishes Chowder

Feast of the Seven Fishes Chowder ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #seafood #chowder #recipe

There is an Italian tradition that fascinates me every Christmas when I hear my Italian foodie friends talk about it. The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s traditionally served on Christmas Eve. I’ve read about it a lot, but I’ve never experienced it. It’s not so much about actually eating seven fishes as it is about just eating a whole lot of good seafood.

This year I decided I am going to live the dream and host a “Feast of the Seven Fishes” cooking class … and it’s tomorrow! I’m super excited. I am making a seafood appetizer (my smoked salmon sun dried tomato cheese spread), an entree (Crab & Spinach Stuffed Fish) and yes, I made this soup for the occasion too. They won’t get to participate in the making of it … I needed to get photos for this post … but they will get to EAT it. And that’s the best part, right?

Doing a seven seafood feast in middle America is challenging (because there really is almost no fresh seafood available), but I found a can of smoked oysters and some frozen lobster tails at Aldi, frozen shrimp, smoked salmon and fresh tilapia at Costco, and then I topped it off with a can of clams and a can of crab meat. That’s seven!

If you have fresh seafood definitely use that, but hey, in a pinch, canned and frozen seafood still tastes amazing when you pull it all together in a creamy, dreamy soup. Feel free to swap out the seafood options for whatever you have on hand. It’s a very forgiving soup that will accommodate just about any fish or seafood. From what I have read, you don’t have to have seven types of seafood for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. I’m just goofy like that and wanted to honor the name of the festival.

If you want to learn more about the Feast of the Seven Fishes, here’s a post from Bon Appetit  (complete with their suggested collection of recipes for the occasion).

Feast of the Seven Fishes Chowder

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Over 2 quarts of chowder

Feast of the Seven Fishes Chowder


  • 2 lobster tails
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled & chopped
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 2 large ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 4 medium red or golden potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons better than chicken boullion
  • 4 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
  • 2 cups half & half (or fat free half & half)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto rosso (sun dried tomato pesto - recipe here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese (or Parmesan)
  • 1 3-oz. can of smoked oysters, chopped
  • 1 6-oz. can of crab meat, with juices
  • 1 6-oz. can of clams, with juices
  • 1 5-oz. tilapia fillet (or other white fish), chopped
  • 3 - 4 oz. smoked salmon, flaked
  • 4 - 6 oz. peeled, tail off shrimp
  • 1/4 cup cooked, chopped pancetta or bacon


  1. Put the lobster tails (shells on!) in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the tails from the water and let cool. Set the lobster broth aside for later.
  2. Meanwhile in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the celery and cook a few minutes longer until it is tender, then add the carrots and cook a couple more minutes.
  3. Now pour the lobster broth into the pot and add the potatoes, bay leaf and bouillion. Bring to a boil, cover, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fall apart tender.
  4. Take about 2 cups of this hot potato mixture (potatoes and all) and put in the blender with the cream cheese, half & half, cornstarch, pesto, seasonings and cheese. Blend until smooth, then pour the creamy mixture back into the soup pot.
  5. Crack the lobster tails to release the meat of the lobster, then chop it into small chunks.
  6. To the soup pot, add in the seafood and bacon, lower the heat, stir and let cook for about 10 minutes longer or until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through. Scoop into bowls and enjoy!


RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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Feast of the Seven Fishes Chowder ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #seafood #chowder #recipe

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckWhat to Do WeekendsHappiness is Homemade and Pretty Pintastic Party.


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11 Responses

  1. This sounds absolutely delicious!

    I like that you made this using ingredients you were able to find at your local stores. It’s that kind of resourcefulness that makes for interesting meals. 🙂

    December 12, 2017 at 12:18 am

    • Ann

      Thanks Super Mom … us moms gotta be resourceful, right?

      December 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

  2. The gods of the sea will be ecstatic w/this feast!! What a bowl of amazing flavors!! xox

    December 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

  3. I only came across the feast a few years ago when I went in to our local fish market on Christmas Eve and it was a mad house! And reading this makes me appreciate more than ever living on the coast. But it looks like a delicious chowder with what you could get!

    December 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

  4. Christine @ Christine's Pantry

    Love all the amazing flavors. Yum!

    December 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    • Ann

      Thanks Christine! I was super excited at how it turned out.

      December 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm

  5. This chowder has got to be absolutely heavenly! It has all my seafood favorites plus some! I can see the being the hit main event at any holiday gathering!!!

    December 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

  6. Man oh man this is bursting with seafood! Soooo delish!

    December 14, 2017 at 11:17 pm

  7. I am absolutely IN LOVE with this recipe, Ann! You’ve really knocked it out of the park with this one! 🙂

    December 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    • Ann

      Oh Michele, thank you so much! I worked hard on this one.

      December 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm

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