As a Chicago native, there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of hearty, hot stew or soup during winter months.

While chowders are my soup of choice, they generally come with a whole lot of unnecessary carbs. Now, I generally don’t shun carbs, nor do I follow a structured “low-carb” diet. I do, however, choose my carbohydrates wisely. Therefore, when it comes to chowder, I tend to stick with tomato-based varieties and pack in the veggies for added flavor.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes, perfected many times over the years.

RECIPE: Veggie-Packed Turkey Chili

What You Need

  • 1-1/2 pound of wild-caught jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1-1/2 pound of wild-caught crab legs, boiled, steamed or baked (I keep a supply of snow crab legs in my freezer so I used them for this particular recipe but king crab works as well)
  • 14 ounces of beef, turkey or chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced and then chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped in small chunks (I used a combination of red, yellow, orange and green peppers for this recipe)
  • 1-1/2-2 cups of green onions, chopped
  • 1 pound of fresh kale, chopped (makes about 6 cups)
  • 5 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1⁄2 cups of heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons of garlic (8 cloves), minced
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 2 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning/herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Tip: This is a seafood chowder recipe so feel free to include any variety or combination of seafood you wish to include. Some other good options include tilapia, scallops, lobster, cod, and haddock.


How To Prepare

In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the sausage in a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the sausage has browned, set it aside and sear the shrimp in the left over juices adding more olive oil, if necessary. Once the shrimp are completely cooked, set them aside as well.

Add the mushrooms and bell peppers to the left over juices along with more olive oil, if needed, and cook them until they’ve softened. Add the green onions and once all the vegetables are a little over halfway cooked, set them aside as well.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, heavy cream, tomato paste, garlic, and seasonings. Bring this mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, use a small fork to remove the meat from the crab legs and claws, and then add it to the pot along with the sausage, shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

Cook and stir the mixture for about 10 minutes and then stir in the kale. Continue to cook this mixture on medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens to your desired consistency. This could take up to an additional 20 minutes.

Rich in high-quality protein, my veggie-rich seafood and sausage chowder recipe is perfect for carb counters and weight watchers alike. Yields about 8-12 hearty servings.

RECIPE: East-West Curried Seafood Stew