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Author Notes: I am a New Englander at heart, yet I moved away from Boston nearly 20 years ago to live in Europe. Each summer (and fall, winter, spring) I would crave and miss a good chowder, so I learned to make my own. Littleneck clams were hard to come by, so I experimented with different fish. Salmon was readily available and quickly became my favorite fish to use. Its thick flesh and buttery flavor was a perfect match to the creamy soup, and adding flaked warm-smoked salmon to the mix achieved the smoky oomph that all chowders should have. Fennel is another favorite addition, adding a fresh crunch and anise notes that complement the flavors of the soup. —TasteFood
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed and reserved, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 pound yukon gold potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeling optional)
- 1 pound salmon filet, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 ounces warm smoked salmon, flaked
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil and melt the butter in a deep skillet or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel and 1 teaspoon salt. Saute until the onion and fennel soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the water and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer until the potatoes are tender but not too soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the salmon, cream and black pepper. Simmer until the salmon is cooked through and the chowder is hot, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Taste for salt - depending on how salty the salmon is, you may need more. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fennel sprigs and extra pepper.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Warm Weather Soup