"I first met this chowder in Norway. The Scandinavians prefer a chowder that is less starchy than ours; no potatoes, no crackers, but with fresh vegetables cooked in it. Sometimes I keep the head of cauliflower whole and place it, cooked, in the center of the soup tureen."
3 pounds fresh cod or haddock
12 whole peppercorns, preferably white
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 medium-sized carrots, cut into 1" pieces
8 small white onions, cut in half
1 small head of cauliflower, separated into florets
1-1/2 cups water
2-1/2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup light cream
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or dill
Place the fish in a stockpot and add enough salted water to barely cover it. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, and parsley, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fish comes away easily from the bone. Take the fish out of the pot, saving the stock, and remove all skin and bones. Rake the fish into fairly large pieces and set aside. Boil down the reserved stock to reduce to half. Meanwhile, put the carrots, onions, and cauliflower in a pot with 1-1/2 cups water. Boil for 5 minutes, then add vegetables and cooking water to reduced fish stock. Add scalded milk, cream, cayenne, and salt to taste. Put the flaked fish back into the pot and heat well. Do not boil. Before serving, garnish with chopped chives or dill.