A simple recipe for Salmon Chowder using fresh salmon that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely nuanced flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addition of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!
As spring rounds the corner, baby potatoes will soon be abundant. This recipe for Salmon Chowder bridges the gap between seasons, using the last of winter’s fennel bulbs paired with new, thin-skinned potatoes. This is not a traditional New England Chowder, but tasty all the same. I’ve left the flour out- so it’s a bit lighter, thinner and brothier, which feels a little more “springy” to me.
What I love about this recipe, besides how homey and comforting it is, is how easily adaptable it is- it can be made keto, or kept dairy-free, using coconut milk, depending on your needs. Use whole milk, half & half or heavy cream- you decide.
This Salmon Chowder starts with onion, garlic, fennel, and fresh salmon. You can also use leftover cooked salmon, or even hot smoked salmon.
New spring potatoes are sliced thinly- which will help the overall dish to cook more quickly.
Saute the onion, garlic and fennel, add the seasonings and create a flavorful base for the potatoes to cook in.
Cut the salmon into pieces.
Once the potatoes are tender, you’ll add milk, cream or coconut milk to the pot.
And then you will poach the salmon, right in the creamy broth.
This will only take a couple of minutes before turning the heat off.
Flake apart the fish with a fork and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve immediately.
Garnish the Salmon chowder with a few fennel fronds- or fresh dill is nice too.
A fast and easy Salmon Chowder recipe that can be made in 35 minutes. Cozy, homey and delicious!
For more tasty fish and seafood recipes, be sure to visit 20 Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes!
Have a great week.
Simple Salmon Chowder
A simple Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon and fennel bulb, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: fish, stew, soup
- Method: stove-top
- Cuisine: Northwest
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
- 1 onion, diced (or sub 2 leeks, sliced or 2 fat shallots)
- 1 small fennel bulb, 1 1/2 cups diced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 2–4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dry, or 2 teaspoons fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine (or leave it out, see notes)
- 3 cups fish or chicken stock- if using chicken broth see notes, on how to enhance
- 3/4 lb baby potatoes, thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb salmon, skinless. (or ok to sub other fish like cod or shrimp), cut into 1 –2 inch pieces ( the more uniform, the better)
- 2 cups whole milk (or half & half or a combo, or dairy-free milk like coconut milk, or 1/2– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Garnish: fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon.
Add vermouth, and cook it off, about 1-2 minutes. Add stock, salt, thyme and bay, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add potatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer over med-low heat until tender, about 8-10 minutes (check at 7 mins, be careful to not overcook). While this is cooking prep the salmon.
Cut salmon into 2-inch pieces, removing any of the brown fat ( see notes) and bones. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Once the potatoes are just fork-tender, add the milk and bring to a low simmer (do not boil) and add the salmon, gently poaching it in the soup for just about 2 minutes. Turn heat off. Fish will continue to cook. If you continue to simmer the soup any longer it may cause a slight curdling. ( Don’t worry, it’s still edible, but not as pretty.) Flake the fish apart, into bite-sized pieces, with a fork.
Taste, adjust seasonings to your liking and serve immediately.
Garnish with fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon.
Soup will keep 3 days in the fridge.
If using chicken stock, add 1 teaspoon fish sauce for depth. You can also sub some clam juice for the stock.
If skipping the vermouth or sherry cooking wine, which FYI does give this a lovely elevated nuanced flavor, add a couple of drops of AC vinegar at the end along with a pinch of sugar. Advanced cooks- you could experiment with Pernod (subbing it for the vermouth, starting with 2-3 tablespoons, making sure to cook this off) which will give it a beautiful anise flavor.
If you notice grey/brown fat located between the skin and salmon flesh, feel free to remove it -which ultimately will look better in the stew. If using wild salmon, it is ok to eat (healthy, actually) just not quite as “pretty”.
Keto option, sub potatoes with cauliflower. Use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Dairy-Free option: add 1 cup of coconut milk, more to taste.
Want More Smokiness? Try subbing part of the fresh salmon with hot smoked salmon (dont use lox) or feel free to add crumbled, browned bacon (3 slices should do it!)
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