Friday, February 4, 2011

Tuna Chowder: Memories in Every Bowl

My mother was a great cook.  But, for some reason, she wasn't very good at making brothy soup. It could have been our uninitiated palates, but my siblings and I always joked that her chicken noodle soup tasted like water with vegetables floating in it... and her beef & barley soup was virtually the same, albeit a much darker hue.   Needless to say, none of us usually got overly excited when the word on the street was that we'd be having soup for dinner.

Unless it was tuna soup.

For some reason, my mother was a miracle worker with a can of tuna.  She made the best tuna salad sandwiches. The best casseroles. And, apparently, the very best soup.   

There are some dishes that , once eaten, leave an indelible impression. For me, "tuna soup" was one of those dishes. Mom made it regularly.  And she frequently brought it to pot-lucks and soup dinners.   The flavors of the soup were so indelibly ingrained in my head by the time I went to college that I took after my mother, cooking up pot after pot of this fantastic soup.  Of course, I had to give it my own special twist. So, I started calling it tuna "chowder" -- after all, a chowder is much more sophisticated sounding than a soup. Right?

Like tuna casserole, this deliciously creamy soup pulls together the comforting flavors of tuna, dill, cream, and peas.  But, rather than noodles, you'll find spoonful after spoonful of perfectly cooked potatoes that have been rendered deliciously tender by a gentle 20 minute milk bath.

It's quick. It's nourishing. And it's basic enough to appeal to the most frugal gourmet's budget.

Tuna chowder... it's what's for dinner.

Tuna Chowder

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  1. Mouth watering display I tell you. I just finished reading the recipe.Thank you for sharing it. This IS what's for dinner very soon!

    I hear my son when you say indelible impression and tuna in the same paragraph. He loves my tuna casserole, which may be my easiest casserole recipe ever! Perhaps being constantly famished (as boys often are) and my serving it up PDQ makes it so unforgettably delicious for him. Whatever the case, his impression is most rewarding as yours more than likely is for your mother.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. It's so funny the things that moms are good at versus not. Random, for sure.

    This tuna chowder looks delicious. Just the perfect amount of cream without making you feel like you're eating a piece of cheesecake for dinner :P

  3. I've never had tuna soup but I love tuna casserole so I need to try this!


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