Super Simple Salmon Chowder

Chowders are like the posh cousins of the soup family. A good fish chowder feels a bit grander than, say, a classic tomato soup or a chicken broth. To me, it’s a bit of an indulgence. I dare say a proper restaurant chowder would indeed be somewhat of a treat with lashings of cream and butter. This version, while tasting divine is, brilliantly, rather good for you. A definitively lighter rendition – posh and saintly.

Made mostly with chicken stock, it finds its delicate creaminess from a good glug of milk added near the end of the cooking. I tend to use full fat milk for this but I can’t imagine semi skimmed would taste noticeably inferior. I wouldn’t advise skimmed milk though, unless you want the creaminess in colour only. But then, why bother?

If you want to boost your veg intake, add sweetcorn, peas or chopped spinach. And finally, don’t scrimp on the bread. Big hunks of wholemeal or granary are spot on with a fish chowder.

Super Simple Salmon Chowder

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced quite finely
700ml chicken stock
300ml whole milk

1 pack of smoked salmon, chopped
1 lemon – zest of whole lemon and a squeeze of juice to taste
A handful of parsley, chopped
A few sprigs of dill, chopped (optional)

Method

Pop your potatoes, onion and hot stock in a pan and simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid on.

Once the potatoes are tender add the milk, heat through over a low heat then add the smoked salmon and lemon zest. Gently simmer for a couple of minutes.

Turn off the heat and add a spritz of lemon juice and the herbs. If you can wait, leave the chowder to sit for a few minutes so that all the flavours can merrily mingle.

Serve with an extra scattering of herbs and more lemon juice if you like.

Smoked Haddock Chowder

I’d say this is a perfect healthy weekend lunch, it’s light yet substantial at the same time. I like to serve this simply with lots of buttered wholemeal bread.

This simple dish is lighter than your average chowder as you don’t need to fry the onions and the tasty base is made up of chicken stock and a little milk, rather than heavy, high calorie cream.

This was the first time I made this with smoked haddock and it was marvelous. In the past I’ve made this with a couple of packets of smoked salmon or trout, which I chopped up before warming through in the chowder.

Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe

Serves 4 – 5

Ingredients

  • A bunch of spring onions, ends trimmed off and sliced fairly finely
  • 600g of potatoes, peeled and chopped into nice bite sized pieces
  • 900ml chicken (or veg) stock
  • 250g smoked haddock, chopped
  • 2 handfuls (about 75g) frozen peas
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1 lemon

Method

  • Pop your onions, potatoes and chicken stock into a large pan and simmer for 6 – 7 minutes, with a lid on.
  • Now add your haddock pieces and the zest of the lemon. Turn the heat down and simmer really gently for 5 minutes.
  • Chuck in your peas and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the potatoes and fish are cooked through.
  • Pour in the milk and continue to heat very gently until the chowder is just warmed through.
  • At this point you could add the juice from the lemon, or if it’s lemony enough for you just pop the zested lemon in the fridge and save it for some other lemony delight.