When you're out all day playing in the warm spring sun, you don't want to come home to the laborious task of making a complex meal. The solution is a quick soup.
For this spring fish chowder, we opted for flavorful sweet potatoes in addition to the regular white variety. Be sure to leave the skins on, as that's where much of the fiber and nutrients reside. For some more color and to round out the dish, we added a bell pepper, scallions and a touch of lemon.
To keep the calories and fat in check, we use fat-free half-and-half as the soup's base. Skim milk also would work, but the texture wouldn't be nearly as creamy.
You can use any kind of white fish you prefer. Flounder is a great option for a very tender fish. Haddock has a bit more body. Whichever fish you choose, use care once you add it to the soup. As it cooks it will want to fall apart. So stir gently.
SPRING FISH CHOWDER
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 quarts fat-free half-and-half
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pound white fish, cut into bite-size pieces
3 scallions, sliced
Salt and ground black pepper
In a large pot over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the potato, sweet potato, red pepper, cumin, cayenne and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potato is tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon zest and fish, then cook for 4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 320 calories; 60 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 4 g fiber; 480 mg sodium.