Very Simple Salmon Chowder

February 3, 2012

Author Notes: My in-laws were from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, their parents having migrated there during the very early 1900s from Finland. One popular dish was a soup made with potatoes, milk and salt cod. I remember my mother-in-law making this during the 1960s when Tom and I were dating and Tom telling me how much he didn't like it. (I did!) Anyway, over the years Tom learned to really like fish chowders and I often make this one with salmon. Called "lohikeitto" in Finnish, it often will have carrots and rutabaga. I like it simple with potatoes, leeks and a lot of fresh dill. Serve it with a sturdy rye bread.inpatskitchen

Makes: 3 to 4 quarts


  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 large fat leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 4 cups peeled potatoes cut into a 3/4 inch dice (I used 3 large redskins)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless salmon cut in one inch cubes
  • 1 cup minced fresh dill
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Cut the leeks lengthwise into four quarters and then crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a good size soup pot and gently saute the leeks over medium heat until soft. Stir in the potatoes and flour and continue to saute to let the flour cook a little for about a minute.
  3. Add the fish stock or clam juice, bring up to a boil and then simmer the potatoes for about ten minutes until fork tender.
  4. Add the half and half and the fish. Bring barely up to a simmer (don't boil) for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the minced dill. Season with the salt and white pepper.

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