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Smoked Salmon and Leek Chowder


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 127

The rich flavor of hot-smoked salmon is balanced by sweet leeks and dill in this creamy chowder.

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large rib celery, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 8-oz. bottles clam juice
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz. hot-smoked salmon (see Test Kitchen piece on hot vs. cold smoked salmon), skin and bones removed, flaked into bite-size pieces (about 1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in the milk and clam juice, and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and bay leaf, and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Add the salmon, cream, dill, and lemon juice, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450, Fat (kcal): 26, Fat Calories (g): 230, Saturated Fat (g): 15, Protein (g): 17, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 39, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 1080, Cholesterol (g): 90, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

My husband and I didn't really care for this. Maybe it was the smoked salmon flavor.

the velvet texture of the chowder is complimented by the tender vegetables and smoked salmon. I would like a bigger punch of flavor from salmon and that is why I didn't give it 5 stars.

Prepared as written, this chowder was far too thick, almost pasty. The overall impression was not of creamy chowder but of flour-thickened white sauce. The flavors were not as bold as I might have liked but that may be in part because I undersalted (thinking the salmon would be salty on its own). Great concept, would be delicious with a few changes.

Question - instead of clam juice, would frozen spotted prawn broth work in this recipe?

I chose to use a hot smoked salmon. I used an indoor smoker with my fresh salmon, The flavor was excellent. The chowder was robust and creamy.

I followed the recipe exactly and was thrilled with the results. No need to change a thing!

Very good! I omitted the flour entirely, as I like a thinner base, and was very pleased with the result. Initially, I tried adding only the seasonings directed but thought the result was a little flavorless, so I added additional thyme, rosemary, and garlic, etc. It was good!

Wow! This was sooo delicious! I added 1/3 cup flour and a little more clam juice and some sherry. I also added a little more leeks and celery, garlic and thyme. Nice and rich like a chowder should be and the best part, sooo easy and quick! You can really customize this and add whatever else to suit your taste because this is such a wonderful base. Tks for posting this recipe for us to enjoy 😄

Really good chowder! I made it exactly as recipe was written. This one is in my rotation.

Excellent as published. Easy and delicious - a "keeper"!

Super good! I used 2% milk and half-and-half instead of heavy cream and it was still great. Resist adding salt when cooking the leeks, as the hot-smoked salmon makes up for it. Definitely a keeper!

Very nice. I was a little dubious about the lemon juice; I thought I might end up with paneer. But I went ahead and did it anyway, and it works just fine. I even used a little extra. I was short on potatoes because the author's idea of a "small potato" is apparently somewhat bigger than mine; I got the little red creamers and ended up with about half the amount of chopped potatoes it called for, but I added some frozen peas at the last minute and I actually really like it that way. I used thyme instead of dill and seafood broth instead of clam juice, as others suggested, and it was just fine. Quick and easy if you happen to have the smoked salmon.

"This is really good," said my husband who was very skeptical about me making this. Great depth of flavor. Think I might try thyme rather than dill next time. I don't think 2% milk sacrificed any richness.

The soup is amazing I added a little curry powder .

This was really good. I used seafood stock, since I didn't have clam juice. It was thick and very tasty. I had to cook it longer, to get the potatoes soft, maybe I cut them too large. Will definitely make this again.

Easy, yummy week night meal. I reduced the fat by using half 2%/1% for the whole milk, and fat free half/half and cream for the heavy cream. Used whole wheat flour rather than all purpose. Other than that - no changes. Wow! My teenaged boys loved it too!!

I made this soup and it was perfect. I substituted the clam juice with fish stock. I used 1% milk. I reduced the dill because my stock had dill in it.

Absolutely delicious. I made it exactly as written except I had a little more salmon than was called for. Such a simple recipe... This one is a clear keeper. I even used canned "clam nectar" instead of the usual bottled clam juice as it's what I found at the grocery store I was in in Vancouver, BC. I was a little worried but it was awesome. Make it!

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