Smoky Salmon Chowder
A thick creamy chowder with chunks of smoked salmon
8 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
5 cups half and half cream OR 4 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Lox, hot smoked salmon, OR leftover grilled salmon fillet (meat only), diced*
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavor, or to taste**
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1. In a large stock pot, cook potatoes in enough water to cover completely, just until tender. Drain potatoes in a strainer and set aside.
2. In the same stock pot, saute the celery, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Add potatoes back to stock pot and set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Whisk in the flour, cooking and stirring over medium heat for a minute ot two. (Mixture will be thick.)
4. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in the chicken broth and then 2 cups of the milk (or half of the half and half cream), whisking constantly until thickened.
5. Transfer cream mixture to the stock pot with the potatoes, stirring gently, and add remaining milk and cream. Stir in the salmon, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, and powdered creamer. Bring the chowder to a simmer while stirring gently; then remove from heat.
6. Adjust seasonings to taste, spoon into bowls, and serve.
*I use about 8 ounces of Lox (cold-smoked) or hot-smoked salmon. When using leftover grilled or baked salmon fillets, I use at least 2 cups of diced salmon meat. Good leftover salmon isn't as strong as Lox, so I like to add more for extra protein -- plus the tender chunks of salmon are so delicious!!
**Liquid smoke flavorings seem to vary in intensity. I use Wright's brand liquid smoke, and prefer about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe. I think it's best to start with less and add more at the end (after tasting) if you wish. This chowder is also delicious without liquid smoke flavoring added, especially if you're using smoke-flavored or leftover grilled salmon.
This recipe is from my friend Renee Zimmer in her cookbook My Passion His Praise. (Instructions and photos are my own.)
Many thanks to Renee, who perfected a delicious chowder recipe! :)
Renee notes: My family begs for this thick, creamy chowder -- add more [half and half] cream if you like a thinner consistency. The addition of powdered creamer may seem a little strange, but it is a secret I learned many years ago working with a chef, who taught me to use creamer to add just a hint of sweetness.
This salmon chowder is so rich, so creamy, and so flavorful! A small bowl makes a perfect dinner appetizer. This soup reheats well, so it's easy to make it a day in advance and use with several meals (or with a simple green salad for a light lunch).
Joshua absolutely loves this chowder recipe! We've tried it with several salmon options (both hot-smoked and cold-smoked salmon, as well as leftover grilled salmon) and it always tastes fabulous!