I was so happy to see the sun again last weekend when Spring made an appearance here. The temperatures even edged towards the cool-warm range. But don’t be jealous. The clouds and cold have returned. That’s OK because it means soup season will go a little longer and I get to eat more of this salmon chowder. With a little bacon and cream to make this chowder feel rich, can you blame me for wanting to eat more of it? Despite the creamy broth, this chowder is not overly decadent so you can still enjoy it without feeling too bad. And the salmon and corn add a lot of nutritional value.
This is not your typical thick stew-like chowder. The consistency is more like what you think of for soup. Don’t let that deter you from trying this recipe. It is quick and easy to make and cooking the salmon in the soup infuses the broth nicely.
I highly recommend serving this chowder with some oyster crackers. Yes, you can definitely save some calories by forgoing the crackers. However, when it’s cold and miserable outside and you just want something cozy and comforting, this salmon chowder and some oyster crackers are just the ticket.
- ½ pound red potatoes, scrubbed
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups milk
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 1 to 1½ pounds salmon fillet, skin removed and fish cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
- Oyster crackers, for serving (optional)
- Cut potatoes into ½-inch cubes, then put into a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Cook bacon in a large heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Pour off all the bacon fat from pot but do not wipe out the pan. Add olive oil to the pan and heat over medium high heat. Add scallions, corn, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until scallions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add milk, cream, and bay leaf. Bring mixture just to a boil. Reduce heat so that soup is at a low simmer. Then add potatoes, salmon, half of the reserved bacon, salt, and pepper and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until salmon is just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve chowder with remaining reserved bacon and oyster crackers breaking up any large pieces of salmon with a fork, if desired.