Salmon and Corn Chowder ~ file this one under fresh, healthy, hearty, beautiful, elegant, comforting, make-ahead, family, fireside, cozy, dinner-in-a-bowl.
You never know when or how your body will turn on you. It might not be now, it might not be tomorrow, but someday we’ll all experience that unhappy event in some way or other. Some time after moving east last year, I developed, out of the blue, an allergy to shellfish. It was quite a shocker since crab, shrimp and lobster are some of my very favorite foods. When we first arrived in New England I ate as much lobster as I could find and in as many ways as I could think of: lobster mac and cheese, lobster omelets, lobster quiche, bacon, lobster lettuce and tomato sandwiches….But when this kind of thing happens, there’s not much you can do about it except avoid the foods that cause you trouble. In that spirit, this chowder, which would have been made with lobster, will henceforth be made with salmon. And that’s ok. Salmon is every bit as luscious as lobster…
I’m so happy soup season is here. Chowders are my favorites—they’re so satisfying and chunky, almost like white stews. Feathery dill and fresh corn off the cob firmly ground this chowder in summer (we have 3 more weeks!), but the creamy base heavily loaded with quartered potatoes and hunks of salmon—maybe some herbed rolls on the side?—gently suggests fall. As an added bonus, this soup provides one more option for eating more of that super-hero of health foods, salmon.
The dab of tomato paste will delicately tint the soup pink, and is just there as a nice visual echo of the salmon.
The cob magically imparts an extra ‘corny’ flavor to the chowder, you’ll be amazed.
I love soup for dinner because it gives you an excuse to eat biscuits or a big hunk of bread along with it.
Salmon and Corn Chowder
- 3/4 pound salmon skin off, cut in large chunks
- 1 pound new potatoes skin on, cut in quarters or eighths, depending on size
- 3 ears of fresh corn kernels removed. (reserve one cob)
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp tomato paste from a tube
- salt and fresh pepper
- a bunch of fresh dill
- Add just enough water to cover the chopped potatoes in a pan and simmer until they are tender but still firm. Add the corn kernels and simmer for another minute or two.
- Meanwhile melt the two tablespoons of butter in a large soup pot and saute the onions until translucent. Add in the tomato paste and the flour and stir for a minute.
- Pour in 2 cups of milk and whisk until it's combined. Add in the potatoes, corn, and their water. Add in one of the corn cobs, broken in half.
- Season with salt and pepper and bring up to a simmer. The chowder will have thickened a little bit by now. Add in the salmon chunks and simmer for just a minute, then turn off the heat and cover.
- After the chowder has cooled you can refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When you are ready to eat, remove the cobs, bring the chowder back up to a simmer and check the seasonings. At this point I break up the larger chunks of salmon. Add a little more tomato paste if the chowder isn't pink enough for you. Add more milk if it's too thick, and be sure to taste and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter in the chopped fresh dill just before serving.