Salmon Corn Chowder


Do you remember when the Joy of Cooking was the go-to cookbook in the kitchen? I do, but then again, maybe I’m dating myself. Nevertheless, I grew up with this book in Western Canada and referenced it constantly. Need to make a Thanksgiving dinner? Joy of Cooking was there. Can’t remember how to make Yorkshire pudding? Joy of Cooking was my friend. Soups or chowders? Consult Joy of Cooking.

Today, I like to think I’ve learned from this weighty tome and progressed in my cooking, particularly after spending many years living and cooking in Europe and Manhattan and learning from some of the top chefs around the world. Having said that (or technically, typed here), the recipe found in Joy of Cooking still forms the basis for my salmon corn chowder which brings together the memories and flavors of growing up in rural British Columbia. Call it nostalgia if you will, but IMHO this salmon corn chowder is delicious!

I should note that this is a cold weather, late fall and winter recipe. If you still have access to fresh corn, substitute the canned corn for fresh cut-off-the-cob corn and let the cobs cook slowly with the chowder for added flavor. Just remember to remove the cobs before serving.

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Salmon Corn Chowder
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 30 oz corn kernels (2 cans)
  • 15 oz cream style corn (1 can)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, more to taste
  • 8 oz flaked hot smoked salmon or (sautéed skinless fresh salmon)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh chives, to garnish

Directions

  1. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and celery with 2 tablespoon butter until translucent, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add flour, stirring until no clumps remain, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock, milk and cubed potatoes along with salt, pepper and bay leaf, bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add corn and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of solids from the soup and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Return to the soup, add the cream, roughly flake the salmon* and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh chives or thinly sliced scallions.
  6. If making ahead of time (can be made 2 days ahead) add the salmon on the day of serving, slowly bringing the chowder to a simmer on the stove, then adding the salmon shortly before serving.

* If smoked salmon is unavailable, fresh salmon cubed and sautéed in butter can be substituted.

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