The cooler weather gets us in the mood for a warming soup, and smoked salmon works especially well in a white chowder.
There are countless adjustments you can make in a chowder recipe, but don’t scrimp on the smoked salmon – it’s the best part!
Smoked Salmon Chowder
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup small-diced carrots (about 1 large carrot)
1 cup small-diced onion (about 1 onion)
½ cup small-diced celery with leaves
½ cup chopped green pepper
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups good quality clam juice
2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (2 large cloves)
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 16 oz. can tomatoes
1 ½ cups diced, cooked potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
1 lb. boneless smoked salmon
6-7 slices cooked, crisp Pancetta for garnish
Flake and strip skin from the smoked salmon. Reserve 1/4 cup for garnish. The rest of the smoked salmon will be added to the chowder and brought to temperature.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter with oil. When oil is hot, add vegetables except for tomatoes and potatoes. Stir and cook until they are softened and aromatic. Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook briefly, about 3 minutes. Do not let the flour brown.
Pour in stock and milk and increase heat to medium-high. Stir well and bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add seasonings and simmer gently, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Stir in smoked salmon pieces, potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with Pancetta and smoked salmon, and serve at once.
Yield: 2 quarts