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CAMP COOKBOOK: Valda's Walleye Chowder is a yummy take on a classic

Billed as “a yummy take on a classic,” Valda’s Walleye Chowder features a tomato base and is a favorite at Wilderness North’s fishing camps. (Photo from Wilderness North)

Krista Cheeseman of Wilderness North, an Ontario fly-in fishing outfitter, recently shared this recipe for walleye chowder she sampled while visiting one of the company’s lodges. “A yummy take on a classic” — traditional clam chowder — is how she describes it. And with a tomato base, this recipe looks like a keeper. She calls the recipe “Valda’s Walleye Chowder” in honor of the camp cook.

Valda’s Walleye Chowder

2 slices bacon (can sub with 2 more tablespoons olive oil)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

24 ounces of tomato juice, strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes

1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1½ pounds of fresh walleye, cut into chunks

Salt and black pepper to taste

Tabasco or other hot sauce


1. Render the bacon fat. Slowly cook the bacon with the olive oil until the bacon is crispy. Remove, chop and set aside. Turn the heat to medium-high and sauté the carrots, celery and onion until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Do not brown the vegetables. Return chopped bacon to the pot.

2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the herbs, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, mix well, then add the potatoes. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are done, about 30-40 minutes.

3. When the potatoes are tender, add the walleye, cover the pot and simmer until the walleye is cooked, about 5-10 minutes. Add Tabasco, salt and black pepper to taste.

For more information on Wilderness North and its fishing options, along with other tidbits pertaining to fishing and the outdoors, to go

— Wilderness North