Salmon Chowder

It’s nearing the end of salmon season on the NorCal coast and every year we stock the freezer with a big one. We get a whole fish and all the pieces that don’t make it into fillets end up making this soup. You don’t have to get a whole salmon to make this. Most grocery stores have fish heads you can purchase.

This is a perfect lazy, cold Sunday recipe to make. Fish broth could be made ahead or be store bought.

Salmon Chowder

  • 1 salmon fish head, cheeks removed to grill and eat later
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 quart water

Simmer all of the above for 1-2 hours. Add water to keep the same water line. Drain and reserve the stock for the soup.

  • 1 lb piece of salmon, cooked until just flakes in a pan and set aside
  • 4 pieces of bacon, sliced into 1/4” pieces
  • 4 Tbsp butter, 2 for roux and 2 for soup
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup gold Yukon potatoes, diced
  • 1 ear corn, sliced from the cob (I used previously grilled corn)
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh dill
  • Red chili flakes

Cook bacon until crispy in a medium pot. Remove and reserve on a paper towel lined plate.

Leave bacon grease and add 2 Tbsp butter. Over medium/low heat, cook down onions and celery.

Add broth and potatoes and cook until almost fork tender (about 7-10 mins).

Make roux with remaining 2 Tbsp butter and flour over medium low heat in a separate pan. Cook until golden brown.

Add in roux to the soup mix. Stir until thickens a little. Add salmon and bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cream to desired creaminess. Season one more time.

Serve with fresh dill and red chili pepper flakes on top.


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