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Basque Seafood Chowder

A pot of plenty, redolent of the Andorras--serve hot as a meal to 8-10 people.

Garnish: Toasted garlic croutons and minced parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute garlic for a minute, then add carrots, peppers, celery, and onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes and cook down over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in mushrooms and eggplant and cook til just tender--about 15 minutes. Add zucchini and all seafood except the clams to the chowder (you can pour in the clam juice), then pour the vermouth over all. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, gently stir in the clams, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a handful of croutons and parsley.