A rich and creamy wild salmon chowder with fresh dill. Hearty, healthy, and superbly delicious this chowder is the ultimate comfort food.
This post is sponsored by Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics, thank you for supporting the brands that support Abra’s Kitchen. As always all thoughts, opinions, recipes, and musings are my own.
Welcome to day 3 of #AKSeafoodWeek 2019!
Will all of my chowder lovers please stand up! We are about to dive into a warm creamy bowl of wild salmon chowder and once you take that first bite… NOTHING will ever be the same again.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE WILD SALMON CHOWDER
This is not the complete list but a highlight of the main ingredients used to make this recipe
- Wild Salmon
- Fingerling potatoes
- Onion, celery, garlic
- Dry vermouth or white wine
- Heavy cream (optional)
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
TWO IMPORTANT REASONS TO CHOOSE WILD SALMON OVER FARMED:
Of all the facts and information I have forgotten since graduating from my master's program there is one food fact that I will never forget, farmed salmon is the most contaminated food in our food supply.
- Farmed salmon contains high levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins. Both of these chemicals are considered persistent organic pollutants, and typically have a half-life of over 15 years (the amount of time it will take for 50% of the chemical to leave your body). Farmed fish on average contain upwards of 10x the amount of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) than wild fish. Dietary exposure to these pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infertility, and more.
- The ratio of 0mega-3 to omega-6 is better in wild salmon. Higher levels of omega 3 fats have an anti-inflammatory effect while omega 6 can be pro-inflammatory.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE CHOWDER HEALTHIER:
Typically chowder is made using at least 1 cup of heavy cream and oftentimes begins with bacon. I am here for some bacon-y creamy chowder, but you can absolutely lighten it up without sacrificing flavor.
- Begin by sauteing a lot of aromatic vegetables. Onion, celery, and garlic are traditional but I love adding fennel for more flavor.
- Deglaze the pan using dry vermouth, white wine will also work, but dry vermouth is a fortified wine made using various botanicals. Allow the alcohol to burn off and what you are left with is an herbaceous pot of deliciousness!
- Add broth. Homemade will make a big difference (here is a simple recipe to make homemade seafood stock), but if you don't have homemade broth try to find a good quality seafood stock (although I've made this with chicken stock in a pinch and it worked quite well).
- Puree at least 2 cups of the broth. Simply ladle some broth into a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. This step is fundamental to a healthier, thick and creamy chowder! Blending the broth intensifies the flavors and thickens the soup.
- Add fresh herbs! Never underestimate the flavor powerhouse of fresh herbs. I sauteed the veggies with thyme and added a huge handful of dill into the soup, and then topped with even more dill and fennel fronds. Flavor, flavor, flavor (and nutritional benefit, but really FLAVOR!)
- Eliminate the cream – I know, I know… everyone calm down! Hear me out. The first time I made this recipe I didn't use cream and didn't tell Jordan (in case you are new here, Jordan is my partner and he is the BIGGEST food snob in the history of the world). He gobbled the soup down and couldn't believe how delicious it was. The second time I added cream, and yes it was lovely and silky and more creamy, but honestly, I could take it or leave it. If you want a healthier soup, just don't use the cream.
MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE
If you make this recipe or any of the #AKSeafoodWeek recipes be sure to tag me on Instagram @abrapappa with the hashtag #AKSeafoodWeek and don't forget to enter the giveaway on this Instagram post for a chance to win a Holiday Vital Box filled with delicious seafood!
Wild Salmon Chowder
- 1/2 lb. wild salmon filets skinless *see notes on how to skin salmon*
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion chopped, 1 cup
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped, 1/4 cup
- 1 small fennel bulb chopped, 1 cup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 24 ounces fish stock or chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups fingerling potatoes cut into 1" pieces
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- In a large soup pot over medium heat melt butter and olive oil together. Add onion, garlic, celery, fennel, and thyme sprigs and cook for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are softened.
- Add dry vermouth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add salt, stir well, then add stock and potatoes. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Ladle out about 2 cups of broth into a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Return the pureed broth to the pot and stir well.
- Add cream and stir well to combine. Add salmon and dill and cook for 2-3 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through.
- Serve with additional dill and fennel.
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