Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salmon Chowder

This is a variation on my Mom's clam chowder. She doesn't enjoy cooking--she never has--but clam chowder is something I remember her making often. It's also one of the only things I remember her teaching me how to make. It's an easy, delicious soup I'm already teaching to my oldest daughter--got to pass it on :)

Salmon Chowder
Printable Recipe

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 8-oz bottle clam juice
32 oz (4 cups) chicken broth (I used homemade I had in the freezer)
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 6-oz fillet salmon

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; reduce the heat to medium. Add the oil and let it heat for 10 seconds. Add the onion, celery, and salt, and cook until the onion has started to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add the potatoes, clam juice, chicken broth, and thyme. I put my broth in straight from the freezer (I defrosted it in the microwave just long enough to be able to get it out of the zip-top bags and break the blocks in half) and let it melt in the pot. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are just barely tender, 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the white sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot. Add the flour, mix it into the butter, and cook the mixture for 2 minutes (it will be very thick and pasty), stirring constantly to keep it from burning.

4. Add the milk and whisk it into the flour until there aren't any lumps. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is very thick. A drizzle should sit on top of the sauce and take a long time to melt back into the rest of the sauce (see the picture).

5. Add the salmon to the pot with the potatoes and onions. Simmer until the salmon is cooked through, 5-8 minutes, and break it up into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon (we like big, juicy pieces).

6. Add the white sauce to the big pot and stir it in to combine it well.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Thanks, Mom :)


  1. Thank your dear mother for me too! This looks devine! Will give it a try this weekend. (Don't you love soups in the fall?) Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  2. Family recipes are so interesting! I love your chowder, it sounds delicious! Perfect for fall

  3. Wow - it looks so creamy and delicious. I could gobble up a bowl right now.

  4. Oooo I see dinner this weekend. Thanks Tiffiny! Oh and you stole my countertop, which I evidently stole from Patricia at Butteryum lol.

    Maybe all the female foodie bloggers have a granite counter top in this pattern. Hmmm It could be a sociology experiment.


  5. Brilliant soup! I have never liked working with fresh shellfish (and I call myself a foodie-cook?) so this is a great way for me to get my chowder fix without wrestling with clams!


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