The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.53
SUMMER2017

Maritime Soup

This is the bfia version of a bisque that the Somerset Club in Boston served during the mid-twentieth century along with all kinds of savories and pies of English origin, all masquerading under French names. The recipe is not absolutely authentic and has a distinctively Yankee, that is to say chowder, flavor.


Ships baker seal- About 1 ½ - 2 oz diced salt port (or a chunk about 1 ½ - 2” square)

- 1 cup diced onion

- 3 cups shrimp stock

- 1 cup clam broth

- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

- a bay leaf

- cayenne to taste

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 8-12 shelled raw shrimp

- about ½ cup heavy cream

- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Cook the salt pork in a heavy pot over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the meat begins to crisp.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the onions and cook until they soften but do not brown.
  3. Add the stock, broth, potatoes, bay, cayenne and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup until the potatoes become quite soft.
  4. Discard the bay and puree the soup (an electric immersion blender is handy).
  5. Drop the shrimp into the soup and simmer just until they curl lightly.
  6. Stir in the cream and a generous grind of pepper, taste for salt, and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Notes:

- Stirring a pinch of curry powder into the soup at the end of Step 2 does no harm.

- Substituting more shrimp stock for the clam broth renders the soup less Yankee and more English.