Source: Brooke Dojny

Northwest Salmon Chowder with Leeks and Peas
Salmon is plentiful in the waters of the Northwest — and nowadays is easy to find elsewhere, too. This chowder showcases the fish’s gorgeous color and is enhanced by red-skinned potatoes, leeks, peas, and dill.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large leek, cleaned, split, and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 cup bottled clam juice or seafood broth (see Note)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups water
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced (about 3 cups)
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 pounds salmon, skin and any bones removed, cut into 3-inch chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (see Note)
1/2 cup snipped chives or thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, plus sprigs for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. (If you don’t have enough, make up the difference with additional butter.)

Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot and cook the onion and leeks over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, wine, water, potatoes, and salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 12 minutes. Add the cream and salmon, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook uncovered until the fish is opaque, about 5 minutes. The fish will break apart as it cooks.

Add the peas, chives, and dill and simmer for 5 minutes if using fresh peas; about 2 minutes for frozen peas. Stir in the reserved bacon bits and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the chowder sit at cool room temperature for at least an hour, or refrigerate overnight.

Reheat the chowder over very low heat. Use a slotted spoon to ladle the salmon, potatoes, and peas into shallow bowls and then cover with broth. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve.

Note: Bottled clam juice is usually shelved with the canned fish in the supermarket; canned seafood broth can usually be found with the canned chicken and beef broth. If making the chowder a day ahead, add the peas and herbs when reheating, as they will lose color upon standing.

Recipe from Chowderland by Brooke Dojny

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