Chowder comes from the French word "chaudiere," meaning "large copper pot." In Brittany, fishermen would combine their fish in one of these pots, add spices, and share the resulting soup. This custom traveled with the Bretons to Newfoundland and then down to New England.

Smoked scallop and mussel chowder

August 03, 2011

Serves 4

1 ½ cups light cream

4 ounces smoked scallops

4 ounces smoked mussels

2 slices bacon, finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3 cups whole milk

16 small red potatoes, halved or quartered

Handful fresh dill, finely chopped (for garnish)

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat, and add smoked scallops and mussels; set aside.

2. In another saucepan over medium-high heat, render the bacon, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Add the onion to the pan, and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until translucent.

4. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add potatoes, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

5. Gently stir in cream and smoked shellfish. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the chowder is hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with bacon and dill.