Salmon Chowder Recipe 

This recipe makes a super generous pot of creamy, chunky salmon chowder, enough to feed a gang of chowder lovers. It’s rich and light at the same time.  When you cook the salmon in the soup, try to leave some substantial chunks of salmon.  Every bite will be a salmon festival.

Salmon Chowder

What is a Chowder?

There are varying opinions on this, but I turned to a book that I have had on the shelf for years, called Chowderland, by Brooke Dojny.  Dojny says: “Chowder, mostly seafood but sometimes with just vegetables or chicken or a combination thereof – is an Old European/North American dish that has traveled with us for hundreds of years, yet it emerges into the twenty-first century more popular than ever.  Relatively small amounts of animal protein (or none at all) paired with potatoes, onions, other vegetables, and broth or milk result in the kind of simple-to-make, delicious and sustainable one-pot dish that we love to eat today.”

Dojny explains the name probably came from the word chauldiere, the French term for the cauldron in which fishermen cooked their chowders.  She defines chowder as” a chunky hearty soup, usually made with salt pork or bacon, onions, potatoes, the main ingredient (often seafood), and a liquid.”

Salmon Chowder

What Ingredients Does a Soup Need to be a Chowder?

Again there will be different opinions, but I am in agreement that a chowder needs to have potatoes, some kind of onions, bacon or other salty pork (unless you are making a vegetarian chowder, then you are allowed to skip it), and a featured protein, most often fish or seafood. 

There are also corn chowders, a sub category, and if you want, also check out the salmon corn chowder recipe.

Salmon Chowder: Chunky and creamy, rich and light all at the same time, this salmon chowder is a bowl of flavorful happiness any time of the year.

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Freezing and Storing Chowder

Freezing chowder is a little tricky – the dairy in the soup may separate when you defrost and reheat it.  The flavor will still be good, but it might look grainy.  Still, reheated leftover frozen chowder is better than no chowder.  

Salmon Chowder

Salmon chowder will also last in the fridge for 2 days in a covered container.

How to Make Salmon Chowder

Cook the bacon, and drain on paper towels.  Leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan, melt the butter, then add the onions and leeks and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to soften.  Add the wine, clam juice or broth, milk, potatoes, salt, and some pepper.  Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot, adjust the heat so it stays at a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the cream and salmon and return to a simmer.  Make sure the liquid doesn’t come to a boil, or the soup might start to separate.  Stir carefully so the salmon doesn’t totally fall apart as it cooks, you want some nice flaky chunks.  Simmer for a few minutes until the salmon turns opaque.  

As soon as the salmon starts to become cooked, add the peas, scallions, and 3 tablespoons of fresh dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Salmon Chowder

Stir for another 2 minutes until the salmon and potatoes are fully cooked through.  

Serve the chowder in bowls, sprinkled with a bit of extra chopped fresh dill.

Salmon Chowder

What to Serve with Salmon Chowder:

Other Chowder Recipes:

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Salmon Chowder

Chunky and creamy, rich and light all at the same time, this salmon chowder is a bowl of flavorful happiness any time of the year.
Yield: 8 People
Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 6 strips bacon , sliced into ½-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 leek , white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice or chicken broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk or whole milk
  • 1 pound waxy potatoes , diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds skinless salmon filets , cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • ½ cup sliced trimmed scallions , white and green parts
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill , plus extra for garnish

Directions

  • Line a plate with paper towels. Cook the bacon in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towel lined plate.
  • Leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan and pour off the rest. Return the pot to medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the onions and leeks and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the wine and stir to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the clam juice or broth, milk, potatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, then partially cover the pot, adjust the heat so it stays at a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream and salmon and return to just barely a simmer. Stir carefully so the salmon doesn’t totally fall apart as it cooks, you want some nice flaky chunks. Simmer for a few minutes until the salmon turns opaque. As soon as the salmon starts to become cooked, add the peas, scallions, and 3 tablespoons of fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for another 2 minutes until the salmon and potatoes are fully cooked through.
  • Serve the chowder in bowls, sprinkled with a bit of extra chopped fresh dill.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 1116mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1122IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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