This Garden Vegetable and Salmon Chowder is an excellent way to use up some of that gallon of milk in the fridge. It is also tasty way to incorporate affordable and nutritious frozen salmon, and use up some of those garden veggies! I used to think making chowder was sort of… hard and that chowders had to be unhealthy because they contained lots of cream. But I’ve recently discovered that I can make a yummy chowder with just a little flour and milk. The flavor comes from the butter and the fresh herbs.
Is there any such thing as too many veggies?
Whenever I make soup, I have this tendency to want to throw in as many vegetables as I can in. As much celery, corn, veggies, and onion as possible, and peppers and and and! I always ask my husband, “am I allowed to add in red pepper to the salmon, now corn chowder?” I meant to add our green beans in this one too but I forgot! If my leeks were ready I would have included them too. And if he let me, I’d sliver some kale in there, but I know I’d get complaints. In short, I have to fight myself to fit more veggies in, but still honor the delicate balance of ingredients.
Will this salmon chowder recipe be good without fresh dill?
I love that I’ve finally figured out it is easy to grow fresh dill here in Hawaii. And now it just self-seeds in my garden, I don’t even have to keep a rotation. I’m sure this recipe would be good without the corn, or the peppers, or the onion, leeks, etc. But I don’t know how rounded it would be without the dill. Dried dill should work ok. If you don’t have either, my next step would be to try it with fresh thyme (or dried). Without those two, I’m sure it would still be yummy, lots of black pepper and make sure your broth flavor is robust.
Can I make this gluten-free?
Of course you can! Try whatever gluten-free flours you have on hand for thickening. BUT, thicken at the end instead of making a “roux”. Remove some of the broth (1/2 – 1 cup strained with slotted spoon), and add a 2 or so until mixture becomes a loose paste, add back to soup. I would try the finer flours first as opposed to grainy gluten-free flours. I’d start with potato starch or flour. If I didn’t have that my next bet would be tapioca starch, rice flour, cassava flour. Just be careful to add less than you think because sometimes gluten-free flours can be “gluey”.
So how is this recipe healthy?
I’m 6 months pregnant this week and in my opinion this soup is the PERFECT way to spend my calories. It is full of the 3 most important nutrients: Protein, Calcium and Iron. The omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon, the protein and calcium from the milk, along with vitamin C from the red peppers. Add in some fiber from the celery and corn and you have a really nutritiously packed meal. I could eat 3 bowls of it (and I sorta did!)
Salmon and Garden Vegetable Chowder
- 1 large onion
- 4 medium celery stalks
- 1 1/2 cup chopped red pepper about 1 large or several small
- 2-4 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 ½ cups corn frozen or garden fresh
- 4-6 cups broth whatever you have, fish, veggie or chicken
- 1 – 1 ½ pounds Wild Caught Salmon cut into 1/2 in pieces
- 2 cups milk skim, 1%, 2%, whole, whatever you have on hand just not dairy free in this recipe.
- 3-4 sprigs fresh dill chopped about 3-4 tablespoons and extra for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat large pot to medium and melt butter
- Add celery, onion and pepper and saute about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile peel and chop potatoes
- Once the veggies are soft, add broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are soft. ~15 minutes
- Add corn and salmon cut into 1/2 inch pieces (be careful of bones)
- Simmer for 5 minutes or so until corn and salmon are cooked.
- Add milk and dill, bring back up to a hot but not boiling temp.
- Strain some of the liquid off (about a cup or so) into a bowl, add 2 tablespoons or more flour and whisk until you get a thick liquid without clumps. Add back into soup and stir to incorporate.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and turn to low or remove from heat (once flour is added you need to make sure you still frequently to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve hot with a piece of fresh sourdough bread!