This salmon soup is a wonderfully hearty and healthy recipe that is great to battle off the winter cold. It could be a great super-bowl party meal or just having friends over for the night. Add a nice green salad and some crusty bread, and you have a meal. Serve with some crisp white wines, like a Pinot Blanc or a Sauvignon Blanc or a lighter red, such as Pinot Noir. Enjoy and let me know what you think!!
Smoky Salmon Chowder with Apple-Smoked Bacon, Corn and Fresh Thyme
- 1 lb. Small Yukon Gold Potatoes - cut into bite-size pieces
- 8 oz. Sliced Applewood Smoked Bacon - cut in half
- 2 T. Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Sweet Onion - finely diced
- 6 Scallions - chopped both white and green parts
- 4 Celery Ribs - finely diced
- 4 Carrots - peeled medium dice
- 3 Cups Frozen White Shoe Peg Corn
- 2 T. Fresh Thyme Leaves - can be dried
- 1/2 t. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Medium Garlic Cloves - minced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 - 8 oz. Bottles Clam Juice
- 3 Cups Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 T. Liquid Smoke
- 2 Lb. Salmon Filets - wild caught with skin removed - cut into 1" pieces
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
- 1/2 t. lemon zest and juice from the lemon
- Fresh Italian Parsley and Fresh Chives for garnish
Bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Salt the water and add the potatoes. Cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Cook the bacon until crisp in a 5-quart dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut or break the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
Remove all bacon fat from pan but do not wipe clean. Add the butter and heat, then add the onions, scallions, celery, carrots, corn, thyme, and red pepper in the dutch oven until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaf and saute for about 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add the clam juice and milk then deglaze the pan, scraping up any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add the heavy cream and liquid smoke to the onion mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, 2/3 of the chopped bacon (reserve 1/3 for serving), and the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes.
Salt the salmon pieces lightly and add to the chowder along with the lemon zest. Occasionally stir and cook gently until the salmon has cooked through about 10 to 12 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and serve the chowder topped with the Italian Parsley and chopped chives and the remaining bacon pieces. Garnish with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and a good squeeze of lemon.