Scallop Chowder with Bacon
This light chowder with a subtle note of smokiness really lets the scallops shine.
- 4 bacon slices, chopped
- 1 cup frozen chopped onions
- 1 large boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 (10-oz) package frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb sea scallops, tough muscles removed if attached
Cook chopped bacon in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Add onions and potato to fat in pan and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are thawed, about 1 minute, then sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Add vegetables, thyme, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.
Cut scallops in half (or quarters if large) and add to soup, then simmer just until scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard thyme sprig (if using), then season soup with salt and sprinkle with bacon.
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