Springtime in the Rockies and Salmon Dill Chowder

Writing and sharing food with friends is a delight, hardly something that warrants reprieve. However, even the work we enjoy benefits from our stepping back, reflecting, loosening our grip (or its grip) from time to time. It was hard to lay aside the routine of writing last week, though not completely unplugged from reading my favorite blogs, checking comments, and dabbling in social media.

It was not a harsh winter making me long for a respite, it has been so mild and dry several ski areas are already closed. It was the pace, schedules and deadlines, and the anticipation of lengthy to-do lists I gratefully shed. Taking a break from posting content allowed for a time of input rather than output, which brought refreshing and retooling. Cookbook reviews, photography lessons, blog maintenance, and menu planning would all be there when I settled in behind the keyboard again.

Of course, there was plenty to fill the time—cooking with a friend, garden/yard work, recipe testing, and our daughter’s commitment to the Easter production of The Thorn (see note below)—it was far from the lazy days of summer. I don’t know about you, but it seems “free” time fills faster than … well, faster than you can free it up, that is for sure.

It was a glorious week of record high temperatures and sun-kissed faces, everyone grateful for a well-timed spring break. A perfect 75 degrees concluded a week of such bliss, the softest of breezes caressing our bare toes propped on lounge chairs. Tender feet hidden away for months in bulky socks and slippers were ready to soak in sunbeams. With a book in-hand and my sweetheart beside me, deciding where to nap was the only goal for a day so lovely.

Good thing we took the time to enjoy it too. Spring weather in Colorado swings wildly from one day to the next, so a forecast of snow tonight is no surprise to those on the Front Range. Blustering wind and grey clouds hanging like a canopy cannot dampen our enthusiasm for the green mist of budding trees filling the skyline. Last week all I could think about was grilling, now I want chili and chowder, my food cravings as fickle as the weather.

Salmon Dill Chowder is ideal for this seasonal bridge between winter and summer. Creamy broth, luscious wild salmon, and hearty potatoes deliver on comfort without the usual long-simmering aspect of soup. Not intended to “feed an army” or freeze for later, it is to comfort only until our toes can slip into sandals once more.

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, April 2004, Ruth Cousineau

Salmon Dill Chowder
  • 1½ pounds salmon fillet
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic
  • 6 slices bacon -- cut across the slices into ¼" pieces
  • ¾ cup onion -- chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 ribs celery -- coarsely chopped
  • 5 medium red potatoes -- washed, unpeeled, cut into ¼" cubes
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill -- chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet on med heat until hot. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave and brush on both sides of the salmon fillet. Place the buttered salmon in the skillet skin-side down. Sprinkle the Blackened Redfish Magic over the fleshy part of the salmon. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes and then set aside on a platter.
  2. Cook bacon in a heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until well browned and crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan and add the onion. Cook onion over medium heat until lightly browned, add garlic, celery, potatoes, half the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in stock (more can be added to be sure vegetables are completely covered in stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add milk, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Break up salmon into 1" bite size pieces and discard skin. Stir-in with any accumulated juices from the plate. Add the dill, salt, pepper, and butter and simmer gently 3-4 minutes to meld flavors. Adjust dill, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  5. Garnish with remaining bacon and serve with crusty French bread.
Notes & Suggestions
If desired, soup can be thickened by pureeing 1-2 cups of the soup in a blender then adding back in. Sweet potatoes can be substituted for half the red potatoes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4


From sunny to snowy, we’re prepared!

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
Nourishing Treasures Traditional Tuesdays
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth & Soul Hop
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Easy Natural Food Sunday Soup Night
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Tuesday’s Table

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26 Responses to Springtime in the Rockies and Salmon Dill Chowder

  1. Jane April 3, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I love salmon and dill – this looks good! Are you loving the snow this morning? :) Glad you had some time to relax!

    • Judy April 3, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      Actually, we are loving the snow since we’ve not seen much this winter and conditions are quite dry. So grateful it waited until after spring break though!

  2. Mary April 3, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    I love the ingredients you’ve used to make your soup. It really sounds wonderful. It sounds like you enjoyed the time away last week. It is good to have you back. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Judy April 3, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Thank you, Mary, it was nice to have a break and good to be back.

  3. Geni April 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Oh, this salmon chowder looks so full of the good things in life and so very delicious. Glad you got to enjoy your fleeting moments of Spring. They will be back soon…

  4. Barb Bamber April 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Salmon, bacon and tomatoes.. perfect soup combination!!

  5. Raymund April 4, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    I think I can do this tonight, I have most of the ingredients and some salmon left

  6. Caroline April 4, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Wow, the color of that chowder is gorgeous, Judy! Did someone say….bacon?? haha yes please!

  7. Greg April 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    This looks wonderful. I wish it was soup weather here. We skipped spring and catapaulted into summer.

  8. sportsglutton April 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect treat to enjoy during the spring months. :-)

  9. mjskit April 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    The tulip photo is SO very Spring and SO beautiful! I’m loving this warmer than normal weather and it can get even warmer for me. Your chowder looks delicious with tons of flavor! Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  10. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food April 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Your chowder looks sooooo good! I love a good chowder, and I happen to have bought some salmon yesterday! Yippee, I’m going to make this! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  11. Amy (Savory Moments) April 2, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    What a delicious looking soup this is! I’ve never had salmon in a soup before, but I think this chowder would be wonderful. Yum!
    Amy (Savory Moments) recently posted..Cabbage and chicken coconut curryMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell April 2, 2013 at 6:36 am #

      Hi Amy, thanks for stopping by, it was nice to visit your blog too. It is a delicious soup and helps ‘stretch’ the salmon to feed more people. I hope you try it. :)

  12. Jen April 2, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    This sounds and looks delcious, I love salmon and dill but would never have thought to use them in a soup. yum!
    Jen recently posted..Easter ‘Egg Heads’ – A Fun Activity To Make With ChildrenMy Profile

  13. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas April 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    WOWOWOW. Seriously, this salmon dill chowder looks absolutely incredible. I love chowders and salmon and dill are amazing together!
    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas recently posted..Chickpea Fritter PuffsMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell April 3, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Thanks Joanne! And thanks for taking the time to comment, I do hope you try the chowder.

  14. Tandy April 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    As we slip into winter, I can imagine making this dish and enjoying it! I think with a local fish as salmon is not easily available here :)
    Tandy recently posted..James’s Desserts, James MartinMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell April 4, 2013 at 6:53 am #

      Dill is a lovely companion to just about any type of fish, so I don’t think you can go wrong there. Tandy, thanks for stopping by and commenting, really appreciate that. :)

  15. April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 22, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Your Salmon and Dill chowder looks fantastic – a deliciously comforting meal in a bowl! I like the addition of the bacon and all the lovely flavours you have used. Our weather has been really variable this year, with wild temperature swings and a lot more snow than we are used to. I’ve been grateful to have been travelling so much :)
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife recently posted..Spiced Apple and Almond CakeMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell April 22, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Thanks April, it is a comforting soup. Sounds like the weather there has been like ours here in CO — high of 60° today, snow tomorrow — it’s crazy hard to always know what to plan to fix for dinner.

  16. Hotly Spiced April 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    What a great looking soup and it would have so much flavour to it with all the seafood and bacon and potatoes – a complete meal in itself! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Indian at BoambayMy Profile

  17. Pure Complex April 30, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    I was headed to your Hearth and Soul post and somehow I clicked on this by mistake. But I’m so happy I did. This chowder is AMAZING. I want to make this today.
    Pure Complex recently posted..Capture / African WildlifeMy Profile

  18. Nusrat Azim May 3, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Your Chowder looks so creamy-dreamy-delicious! Gotta try it tonight :)
    Nusrat Azim recently posted..Butter ShrimpMy Profile


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