1poundredskin potatoespeeled and chopped into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces
1/2cupsauvignon blancor other dry white wine
1½tablespoonsfresh thyme leaves
1teaspoonskosher saltplus more to taste
1/4teaspoonheaping freshly ground black pepper
1bay leaf2 if small
1¼heaping teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 to 1½poundsbarramundi filletsor other firm white fish, cut into 2-inch pieces (skin removed)
1/4cupchopped fresh flat leaf parsley
MAKE THE CROUTONS:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sourdough bread crumbs with olive oil and a tablespoon of old bay seasoning.
Scatter the bread cubes in an even layer on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through.
Remove and set off to the side while you make the chowder.
MAKE THE CHOWDER:
Throw the cubed bacon into a Dutch oven and turn the heat to medium. Cook the bacon until cooked through and crispy. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set off to the side and drain off all but two tablespoons of bacon fat.
To the two tablespoons of bacon fat add in the chopped onion. Cook until the onion is soft, translucent and lightly golden around the edges.
Pour in the 1/2 cup of dry white wine, reduce by half... about 5-8 minutes.
Add in the peeled, diced potatoes and pour in the two 8 ounce jars of clam juice. Strip off 1-1/2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves. Measure and add in the salt and black pepper and the teaspoon and a quarter of old bay.
Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-14 minutes until the potatoes are just about tender.
Remove the lid and nestle the fish into the broth. Top with heated cream, reduce the temperature to low and let the hot soup slowly cook the fish. About 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a small skillet, heat the heavy cream until hot to touch, but not boiling.
Add in the bacon and a loose quarter cup of chopped fresh parsley.
Gently stir, taste and season with more salt and black pepper if needed.
Serve with old bay croutons and a soup spoon, enjoy!