4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large starchy potato, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs with their greens, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 cups chicken or seafood stock
1 1/2 pounds cod, scrod, or haddock, cut in chunks
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, coarsely chopped
3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 corn toaster pastries, such as Thomas' brand
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and the 2 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into small pieces. Add the veggies, then season them with the bay leaf, salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning.
Cook for 5 minutes to begin to soften, then add the flour and cook for a minute longer. Next, add the sherry and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and bring it up to a bubble,
then arrange the seafood in an even layer around the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the fish is opaque and the shrimp is pink, 4 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the milk and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer to thicken. Add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, then adjust the seasonings. Discard the bay leaf.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a small cup. Toast the corn pastries, brush with cayenne butter, and sprinkle with the chopped chives.
Serve alongside the stoup.
This is one of the best meals I've had in a long time! The soup was so thick and creamy and had such a wonderful flavor. I don't know what corn toaster pastries are, and I've never seen them in the store, so I just made some homemade cornbread. I changed the amount of servings to 6 instead of 4 because I ate 4 bowls of it and my husband and daughters had a serving, and there is still enough left for a whole meal for all of us. It filled up my soup pot!