Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simple Salmon Chowder

I love easy soup.
This past week has been so crazy, I haven't had as much time to cook as I'd like.  Friday night, even though we were going out to dinner with friends, I still wanted... no needed.. to cook something.

I wasn't going to blog about this one as it feels like I make it all the time, but I see that I haven't done a simple chowder.  This technique would work for almost any fish or seafood but I liked salmon and had fillets in the freezer.  I like the Costco salmon fillets as they are individually packaged, easy to thaw and I already had them.  With this soup, I only thawed the salmon for about 15 minutes, then cut up the fillets while mostly still frozen.  The pieces were easy to cut up and held their shape in the chowder.  I liked having the big tender chunks in the soup. Any type of salmon would work; fresh, frozen, canned or leftover pieces. Leftover or canned salmon would give you flakes of salmon instead of the chunks.

This soup is creamy and satisfying, but it really does not have a lot of cream in it. If you prefer to use milk, then I would reduce the amount of stock to about 4 cups and use 2 1/2 cups of milk. I used potato flakes at the end because I wanted a thicker soup and it adds even more potato flavor.

Serves about 4-6
3 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 cup white onion, minced
1 cup celery, minced (I use inner stalks and leaves)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp flour
2 Tbsp lemon juice
6 cups stock (fish or chicken)
3 cups yukon gold potatoes, diced (about 5-6 potatoes)
2 salmon fillets, about 1 lb., cut into pieces
2 tsp. dill weed, dried or fresh
Salt and Pepper (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp of salt because my stock was no-salt fish stock)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup instant potato flakes

In a medium stock pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes until starting to become limp and translucent.  Add the celery and minced garlic and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Add the flour to the veggie mixture and stir until it starts to thicken up about 2-3 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, stock and the dill weed and bring to a boil.  Add the diced potato and cook until they are tender, usually about 10 minutes. Drop in the salmon and reduce heat to medium low.  Add the cream and salt and pepper to your likening.

Add the potato flakes to thicken up and serve.

Note- You could simmer this on low heat for another 5-10 minutes if desired, but I found that even the partially frozen salmon pieces cooked almost instantly in the hot soup, and were nice and tender when we tried it.  If you cook it too long, your salmon could become tough.

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