Mary Gazda made this chowder for one of the Cumberland Soup Group gatherings, and it became one of the group’s all-time favorites. She found the recipe online, but it actually comes from Maine’s own Rebecca Charles, chef/owner of Pearl Kennebunk Beach and Spat Oyster Cellar at 27 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Scallop season begins this month, so it’s the perfect time to include this soup in your holiday festivities.

Yield: 8 cups

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


1 pound sea scallops, chopped

1 quart whipping cream

1/4 cup Pernod

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes, and cook 4 minutes. Add scallops, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in whipping cream. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes.

Stir in Pernod, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Garnish, if desired.


Mary Jo Moore found this recipe in one of her favorite cookbooks, “Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook” by Crescent Dragonwagon, and has served it to the Cumberland Soup Group twice. She substitutes whole milk for some of the cream, however. Moore used rosemary bread to make her croutons.

Serves 6 as a starter


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 whole heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 cup dry, fruity white wine, such as Moselle

3 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream


2 large egg yolks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Finely minced fresh parsley, to taste

In a heavy 10-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Set aside five cloves of garlic for croutons (recipe follows) and add the remaining garlic to the skillet. Turn down the heat to very low and gently cook, stirring often, until the garlic is quite soft and only slightly colored, 10-15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a food processor, leaving as much butter as possible in the skillet. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and the wine, and purée until absolutely smooth.

In a medium-size saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups of stock until hot. Heat the butter in the skillet over very low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 or 2 minutes. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring to smooth any lumps; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth and thick, two or three minutes. Return to the saucepan, adding the garlic purée, then 1 cup of the cream. Simmer gently over very low heat, until the soup no longer has a raw flour taste, about 3 minutes. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup cream. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the soup, then pour this mixture into the remaining soup. Heat, stirring constantly, until hot and thick. Do not let it boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in small cups, topped with the croutons and the minced parsley.



3 very thin slices homemade or Pepperidge Farm whole-wheat bread

3 tablespoons butter

5 cloves garlic, peeled and put through a garlic press

Remove the crusts from the bread and cut the bread into tiny squares, no bigger than 1/4 inch. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and crisped, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a small bowl. Add the garlic and toss to combine.

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