Smoked Salmon Chowder

Smoked Salmon Chowder
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We lost all of our non-smoked meat in the 3-day power outage, so it’s time to stretch what we have until the freezers are full again. (We almost exclusively eat meat we catch, kill or trade for.)

So, smoked salmon chowder it is.

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 1 medium yellow onion, diced

• 2 stalks celery, diced

• 6 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 lb. potatoes, diced (Yukon gold or russet)

• ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

• 2 bay leaves

• ½ teaspoon dried basil

• 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

• 2 ½ -3 ½ cups stock (fish, shrimp, or chicken)

• 2 tablespoons EACH:
• tomato paste
• capers + 1 tablespoon bring

• 4-ounce cream cheese, softened to room temperature

• 4 teaspoons low sodium Old Bay seasoning

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 1lb smoked salmon, roughly diced into small pieces

SAUTE: Heat the butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, until translucent and softened about 6-8minutes. Add the garlic and the potatoes. Crush the fennel seeds between your fingers and add them in. Add the bay leaves, dried basil, diced tomatoes, 2 ½ cups of stock, capers, and brine. Let the soup gain a rolling simmer, cover, and let cook for 8-15 minutes or until the potatoes cook all the way through. The timing may vary as this depends on how small you dice your potatoes.

CREAM CHEESE: When the potatoes are fork-tender, remove the lid, kick the heat up to medium and stir in the tomato paste, cream cheese, and old bay seasoning. Allow the cream cheese to melt into the soup.

SIMMER: Add the heavy cream and reduce the heat to low, allow the chowder to gently warm through until a light simmer develops. Add the shrimp and smoked salmon and let everything just heat through.

SERVE: the chowder immediately or as I recommend, chill the chowder for several hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to develop further and will help thicken the chowder further. Rewarm before serving. Use additional stock to thin the chowder to your preference. Season with additional salt as desired.
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Jake Watrous
As a reformed journalist, semi-reformed photographer, and a never-to-be-reformed fly fisher I have been fortunate enough to have the occasional opportunity to (ghost) write gear reviews and reports for several well-known fly shops and websites, participate in extensive gear trials and shootouts, and flog the occasional photo to fly fishing companies. Why do I say this? Because you just read a gear review and I'm trying to explain that I'm not just some random windbag--I used to be a professional one.

If you're still reading this I'm beginning to wonder about you, but heck--let's go fishing!


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Jake Watrous
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