Salmon Chowder

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I started making this a couple years ago, and it’s become one of my wintertime staples. It takes only about an hour to make, start to finish, and it’s delicious. You can replace the onion with leeks, and it’s even better. I passed it on to a vegetarian friend of mine, and we decided that it tastes awesome even if you don’t include the salmon! Serve with a crusty dark pumpernickel and butter. Serves 6 as main course, 10 as a starter.


1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 large fennel bulbs, sliced, core and stems removed, but fronds saved and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 T butter or olive oil
1 t dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T flour
32 oz. vegetable stock
32 oz chicken stock (or more vegetable stock)
8 oz tomato juice
1-2 lbs red bliss potatoes, diced
pepper to taste
1-2 lbs salmon filet, skinned and cut into 1″ cubes
½ pint cream (optional)
fresh chopped tarragon

Sweat the onion, fennel, fronds, and celery in a large dutch oven for a couple of minutes, salting to draw out the water from the vegetables, then add the thyme and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the flour until it is absorbed. Add the stock, the tomato juice, and the potatoes, heat up to boiling, and then lower heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done (when you can easily pierce one with the tip of your knife); about 15 minutes. Add the salmon, and cook for 5 minutes in the hot soup. Take off the heat and stir in the cream. Serve with the tarragon on top.