Salmon Dill Chowder is ideal for the seasonal bridge between winter and summer we call spring.
Creamy broth, luscious wild salmon, and hearty potatoes deliver a bowl of real comfort without the usual long-simmering aspect of soup.
Not intended to feed an army or freeze for later, this chowder recipe for a quick fix of comfort when spring temperatures dip back toward winter.
Spring weather in Colorado swings wildly from one day to the next, so a forecast of snow is no surprise to those on the Front Range through May.
Tender feet hidden away in bulky socks and slippers are eager to slip into sandals once more and soak in sunbeams.
Until then, we fill our menu with grilling favorites and comfort food like Salmon Dill Chowder for whatever way the wind blows.
Wild-caught salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and makes an amazing Blackened Salmon dinner over a bed of wilted spinach.
Fish is one of those areas of life it is best to go wild. It is superior in taste and nutrition to farm-raised, which can be a host for unwanted contaminants.
While wild-caught salmon will cost more per pound, the health benefits far outweigh the price difference.
TIP: Off-set the cost of wild salmon by reducing portion size (we can all eat a little less here in the U.S., right?), look for seasonal sales or call a local grocer to ask about seafood trimmings (the scraps from fish, trimmed for the display case).
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Parsnips, celeriac root, or sweet potato is an excellent substitute for the potatoes.
- To thin the soup add equal amounts of chicken stock and milk or cream.
- Soup can be thickened by pureeing 1-2 cups of the soup in a blender then adding back in if desired.
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Salmon Dill Chowder
- 1 pound wild salmon fillet
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic , or other favorite Cajun seasoning
- 6 slices bacon , cut across the slices into 1/4″ strips
- 3/4 cup chopped onion , about 1/2 large onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic , or 2 teaspoon jarred garlic
- 3 ribs celery , diced, about 1 1/2 cup
- 4 medium red potatoes , washed, unpeeled, cut into 1/4″ cubes, about 4 cups
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill fronds — chopped , or 1-2 teaspoons dried dill, added 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper — or ground black pepper
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Brush skin-side of the salmon with melted butter and place skin-side down in the pot. Brush the salmon flesh with butter and sprinkle with blackened seasoning. (Reserve remaining butter.) Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a platter and set aside. While the fish is cooking, prep bacon and vegetables.
- In the same pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp (about 5 minutes); transfer to paper towels to drain. Continue to prep remaining vegetables while bacon cooks.
- Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons fat from pan and add the onion. Cook onion over medium heat until just beginning to brown at the edges, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, potatoes, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften. (Add a little bacon fat if pan seems too dry.)
- Stir-in stock (more can be added so the vegetables are covered in stock) and salt; 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, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
- Break up salmon into bite-size pieces and add to the soup with any accumulated juices from the plate. Add half the bacon, dill, pepper, remaining melted butter, and simmer gently 3-4 minutes to meld flavors. Adjust dill, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with remaining bacon, and serve.