Cod Chowder with Madeira

A creamy chowder with bite sized pieces of cod and diced vegetables.
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Soups
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 ounces Canadian bacon trimmed of fat and 1/4" diced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions approximately 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup carrots peeled and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup celery trimmed and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 stalk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 cups Russet potatoes peeled and 1/3" diced, approximately 2 medium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried thyme leaves or 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds cod fillet cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups 2% milk preheated in microwave
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Madeira
  • minced parsley for garnish


  • Place a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat; add canola oil. When hot, add Canadian bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add water while whisking to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue simmering uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisk while cooking for about 3 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Gradually add preheated milk, whisking smooth between additions and until thickened and smooth.
  • To the stock pot with vegetables, add fish; cook another 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add milk mixture, stir to incorporate, and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, stir in Madeira, sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.


Haddock fillet may be substituted for the cod.
Makes 2 quarts.
Serving Ideas: oyster crackers, cornbread, green salad or a side of steamed green vegetables.