This week we continue our offerings of soup and stew recipes suitable for the depths of winter. “Comfort food” comes in various forms, but for the sportsman a steaming bowl of hearty fare produced by his own skills and cooked in his own kitchen is comforting not only from a taste standpoint, but from the perspective of the inner satisfaction to be derived from putting food on the table.


Shellfish Pepper Chowder

This is a fairly complex recipe, but the end result makes it well worth the trouble.

You’ll need:

2 fish bouillon cubes

5 bay leaves

1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon (separated) Old Bay seasoning

1 pound unpeeled shrimp

2 slices bacon

2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, minced

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 (10-ounce) can chicken broth

1 cup water

4 russet potatoes, peeled and finely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 whole dried Dundicut or Scotch bonnet peppers

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups frozen corn

1 pound crab meat

1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream

½ cup dry sherry


Fill a medium stockpot ¾ full with water. Add the bouillon cubes, two bay leaves, and one teaspoon Old Bay seasoning and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for two to three minutes until the shrimp turn pink.

Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Cool completely and peel, reserving the shells. Refrigerate the shrimp. Add the shells to the seasoned water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the shrimp stock.

Sauté the bacon, onion, and red bell pepper in the butter in a large stockpot until the onion is soft. Whisk in the flour until blended. Stir in the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, three bay leaves, and the next seven ingredients. Boil for 30 minutes or until the potatoes begin to soften. Remove half the potatoes with a slotted spoon. Mash the potatoes in a bowl and return to the stockpot.

Add the reserved shrimp stock to the potato mixture. Add water as needed to fill pot ¾ full. Stir in the corn and crab meat and cook until the corn is heated through. Add the reserve shrimp and half-and-half. Remove and discard the bay leaves and whole peppers. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Pour the sherry over the soup just before serving.

Makes six servings.


Thirty-Minute Venison Stew

You’ll need:

1 pound ground venison

1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups sliced carrots

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 can (16-ounce) cut green beans, drained

1 can (16-ounce) lima beans, drained

1 can (46-ounce) tomato juice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


Brown ground venison, onion, and garlic in a large Dutch oven prepared with cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve piping hot. Leftovers freeze well.

Six to eight servings.


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Cover Image: Thinkstock

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