Nova Scotia Fish Chowder

Tuesday 9 June 2020

We have had a rather gloomy and rainy few days now. Soup days. That's what I call them.  Today I was feeling very nostalgic for home and I decided to cook us up a delicious Nova Scotia Fish Chowder.  A taste of home sweet home for me.

This recipe is not quite as rich as my other recipe for fish chowder, which contains carrots and celery and cream.  

This is a really simple and basic recipe which is typically Nova Scotian and was adapted from an old cookery book of  mine entitled "Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" by Marie Nightingale.

It is a treasure trove of historic Nova Scotian recipes.  My family has been in Nova Scotia before even the first settlers arrived on its shores.  

I have Mi'kmaq ancestry as well as Scottish, English, Irish, German, etc.  I am a virtual melting pot of Nova Scotia peoples, as most of us are.

For this chowder I used some beautiful Haddock fillets. I get my haddock  from Seafresh quality foods.  I am in love with their fish, and really love their Haddock.

Their Haddock Fillets are skinless and boneless, having been frozen at Sea with just a few hours of being caught. This wonderful process means the fish is as fresh as it can be. 

Each fillet weighs in between 130g-170g. There is 900g of Haddock per order (approx. 5-7 fillet), and right now it is on offer for £5 less than the regular price.

Haddock is very versatile fish.  Pan fried or poached, oven baked or grilled.  It really is beautiful in recipes like this fabulous fish chowder.

The New England States like to claim to be the inventors of Chowders, but there is a strong possibility that chowders were first created by the French settlers at Port Royal.  

The word "chowder" comes from the French word, "Chaudiere."  This was the name of the cast iron pot that they cooked their soups and stews in.

In any case, this recipe I am sharing with you today is considered to be more than 100 years old, and is in my opinion a fabulous recipe for using some of the beautiful haddock that I have in my freezer.

You know its a simple recipe because it is such an old recipe, using simple ingredients that are readily available.

You also know that it is delicious, because after 100 + years it has quite simply stood the test of time.

Good fish, onion, potato, salt pork/bacon, water and milk are all you need aside from a few other sundries/seasonings.

Soda crackers are not readily available over here in the UK, but you can get Italian crackers that are very similar and they are what I use.  They help to thicken it a bit.

My husband  enjoys his with a slice of thick buttered bread . . . 

The Canadian in me has to have crackers.  There is just no two ways about it.  I love crackers with my soups.  Enjoy!

Nova Scotia Fish Chowder

Nova Scotia Fish Chowder

Yield: 6
Simple, traditional and very delicious.


  • 2 pounds haddock fillets
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, diced (alternately use smoked streaky bacon)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp summer savoury (optional)
  • 480ml boiling water (2 cups)
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 960ml whole milk (4 cups)
  • 8 small soda crackers, crumbled
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish


  1. Cut your fish into 1 inch cubes.  Saute your pork/bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. (I had to add a small splash of olive oil as my bacon was quite lean.)
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring, without browning until softened.  Add the potatoes, summer savoury (if using) and boiling water.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the fish cubes and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the milk, crackers, butter and seasoning in another saucepan just to the boil.  (DON'T allow it to boil.) Once it is heated combine it with the potatoes, water, onions and fish. Heat through.   Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes and serve immediately.
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Seafresh has the UK covered delivery-wise, and has been providing door to door contactless delivery throughout the pandemic. This has really meant a lot to me. 

A few things about Seafresh:
  • Same Day dispatch on orders received before 1 PM.
  • All packages are carefully hand packed.
  • Free delivery on orders above £50, £8 on orders below that amount. 
  • Responsibly and sustainably sourced.
  • Air Blast Frozen at source within 4 hours of being caught.
  • Wide variety to choose from. 
Do check them out on their website to find out more.
Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Note - Although I was gifted with product free of charge for the purposes of review, I was not required to write a positive review in exchange, nor would my integrity allow me to recommend anything if I did not truly like it. Any and all my opinions are my own entirely.

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  1. Yummy. I being a Nova Scotia girl was brought up on a good fish chowder. I never tried summer savory in it. Very hard to find in Tennessee. I get it at an Amish market in bulk. I have used cod and sometimes add can of cream of mushroom soup to help thicken and make it creamy. I want a big bowl now except it is in the 80's and 90's every day so I will have to wait a few months to enjoy this. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. I followed the directions exactly and the chowder is delicious!! Thanks so much

    1. I am so pleased that you made and enjoyed this chowder! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and share your experience with us! It is very much appreciated! xo


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