Fish Gluten Free Healthy Lunch salmon Soup Spring

Salmon and Fennel Chowder

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

It doesn’t get any better than salmon and fennel chowder for dinner, in my humble opinion. The flavors go beautifully together in this simple soup.

As I box things up and try to get mentally prepared to cross the three little bridges that will take us off this island for the foreseeable future, I have to push aside so many competing thoughts and emotions simply in order to clear enough space in my mind to remember where I last saw the roll of packing tape.  Cooking dinner is one of the last holdouts of normalcy around here, and pretty soon even that will end as I get to the point where I have to pack up the kitchen essentials.  I’ll leave that until the bitter end.

A bunch of fresh dill

a nice piece of fish

a pile of baby fingerling potatoes

and a bulb of fennel go into making a quintessential New England spring supper.

This chowder is best made a few hours ahead of when you want to serve it.  Keep it in the refrigerator and give the flavors a chance to mingle. It will have even more flavor the next day!

Add to Your Recipe Box
5 from 2 votes

Springtime Salmon and Fennel Chowder


  • 1/2--3/4 lb salmon fillet
  • 2 cups clam broth or juice
  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups whole milk you can use cream or half n half for a richer chowder
  • salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • a pinch of celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill chopped


  • Put the salmon and the clam juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Halve, core, and finely slice the fennel bulb. Cut the potatoes into bite sized slices. I used fingerlings, which are long and thin so I sliced them. If you have round potatoes, quarter them.
  • Remove the salmon from the broth and set aside. Add the potatoes to the same broth and simmer until they are just barely tender. The liquid should just barely cover the potatoes, add a bit of water if necessary.
  • Meanwhile heat the butter in a heavy soup pot and saute the fennel until it is softened a bit but still firm. Add the celery seed and tomato paste and mix well.
  • Add in the potatoes and their cooking liquid and bring back to a simmer. Add the milk and heat through. Let the chowder steep at barely a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Break apart the salmon into large pieces and add to the pot. Give everything a gentle stir, add the dill, cover, and take off the heat.
  • Let the chowder cool, and then refrigerate until ready to eat. Reheat the soup gently, and be sure to check the seasoning before serving, it will probably need more salt and pepper.

You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    I added a bit of fire roasted corn, brown sugar and anise to kick it up a bit, great starter recipe but it seems a bit bland.

    • Reply
      December 3, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Scandinavian recipes tend to focus on very simple flavors compared to American recipes, I find.

  • Reply
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits
    April 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I make a dish very similar to this called marmitako, but I love the idea of the fennel, celery seed and dill. Mmmm!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Oh my, this dish is calling my name! I love salmon and this chowder would be a welcomed departure from our usual grilled salmon.

  • Reply
    Thyme (Sarah)
    April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    You are moving? Off of your little island? Oh, I hope this doesn’t make you too sad and is a good thing! I’ll be thinking of you as you make this move.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    This looks amazing! Yum! it’s only 8:15 in the morning, I’m on my way to workout and yet if i had this in my refrigerator I think I would stay home and warm up a bowl. Beautiful photos and styling!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    April 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I am going to make this this week! It sounds delicious and is so lovely. Salmon is my favorite fish.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    April 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Wow – how did I miss this post? This looks amazing. I love salmon and chowders are fantastic. Thanks for this – I will be making it! How hard to wait until the flavors meld 🙁 I want it now.

  • Reply
    Gerry @Foodness Gracious
    April 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Yes salmon has a special place in my heart, this dish looks very very nice and those bowls are cool 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Oh wow, that looks amazing! Super Scandinavian overtones, Batman! 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] Simple Nourished Living
    April 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Oh my. I love New England fish chowder but have never had it with salmon and fennel. I’ve bookmarked and can’t wait to try. What a beautiful looking soup.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    What a wonderful dish! I’m not a big fish eater, I really don’t know why, but just imagining the smell of this dish makes me wanna try it. I gather you’re moving? Good luck!
    Subscribing to your feed now 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

    i could do with a big bowl of that right now

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    April 15, 2012 at 3:44 am

    We have moved several times around the world so I don’t envy your packing. Like you say the last things to go in the boxes are the cooking utensils – I always hate those last minutes when normal life has to stop. This is a great dish that can be cooked ahead of time so at least the pots can be packed. Good luck.

  • Reply
    Carlene's World
    April 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I am new to your blog. I found you via Pinterest and now I’m hooked. I am also East Coast, love my seafood and the Chesapeake Bay. Your photography makes everything look sooo appealing and I will miss your lovely New England recipes. I hope you will continue when you reach your destination with new finds and interests…God Speed and Happy Trails….a little Roy Rogers ‘has’ to help the move, no?

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    This makes me happy, it’s absolutely beautiful and I love every single thing in it. Lovely!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    April 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Your soup looks amazing! I love fennel, yet I’ve never thought to pair it with salmon. Can’t wait to give that a try!

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    April 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    The soup looks absolutely beautiful Sue. Dill, salmon & fennel are some of my favorite things. I went a bit salmon crazy this week as I had 2 salmon filets as well as a salmon burger. Sometimes I just crave it and this week was one of those weeks 🙂

  • Reply
    Cathy at Wives with Knives
    April 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This soup is so beautiful and appetizing I don’t think I can resist it. Seafood is plentiful here and I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Wow, great post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    That piece of fish looks incredible. Such beautiful photography. I love the idea of combining salmon and fennel together in a chowder.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I’ve never used salmon in a soup, but you’ve inspired me to try this. Everything here says Spring-time to me!

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    April 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I love the color of the broth. Great flavor combinations too. Chowdah is always best the next day.