Scallop Chowder with Wild Mushrooms and Chives

Scallop Chowder with Wild Mushrooms and Chives

A scallop chowder is a great alternative to the ubiquitous clam chowder. Wild mushrooms complement scallops really well in both texture and flavor. Chives add the perfect finishing touch. 

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Craig Fear


  • 4 strips slab bacon, about 1/2 cup diced
  • 2-4 TBSPs unsalted butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic diced
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms and/or shiitake mushrooms diced
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups clam broth
  • 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 ½ pounds bay scallop or sea scallops, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chives, or more! chopped, to taste
  • Sea salt to taste

Optional seasonings

  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley chopped
  • Chives chopped
  • Oyster crackers
  • Bacon bits
  • Tabasco


  1. In a heavy bottom stock pot, render fat from bacon over very low heat for about 5-7 minutes. When a few TBSPs renders out, raise heat to medium and brown the bacon slightly. Remove the bacon but leave the rendered fat in the pot. Reserve bacon and chop into bacon bits.

  2. If you don't get enough fat to render out, add 1-2 TBSPs butter to the bacon fat.

  3. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and saute for 7 to 10 minutes until cooked through. Add 1-2 more TBSPs of butter, if necessary.

  4. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer, covered for about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Turn of the heat and add the scallops. Let them cook in the heat for about 5 minutes.
  6. If serving the chowder right away, heat the cream to just below boiling in a separate saucepan and then add it to the chowder. If not serving the chowder immediately, there’s no need to heat the cream. Just add it straight away and mix it in.
  7. Add chives and gently stir in. Add salt, to taste.
  8. Ladle chowder into individual bowls add optional seasonings to taste.

Recipe Notes

To thicken the chowder slightly, in a separate pot, make a roux. Melt 3 TBSPs butter over medium heat, add 3 TBSPs flour and whisk together for several minutes, until thickened and smooth. Drizzle this into the soup while the potatoes are cooking but do it well before the potatoes are cooked through. Stir constantly, to thicken slightly. This is a totally optional step!