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
3 to 4 quarts
large fat leeks, white and light green parts only
peeled potatoes cut into a 3/4 inch dice (I used 3 large redskins)
clam juice or fish stock
half and half
pounds boneless, skinless salmon cut in one inch cubes
Cut the leeks lengthwise into four quarters and then crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces.
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.
Add the fish stock or clam juice, bring up to a boil and then simmer the potatoes for about ten minutes until fork tender.
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.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!