Clam chowder comes in two varieties: New England and Manhattan. But what about the West Coast? Don't they deserve chowder, too?
Obviously. And it comes in the form of this creamy, tangy, smoky chowder filled with hot smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese, and leeks. Bonus points if you eat it in a sourdough bread bowl. —Catherine Lamb
6 to 8
small onion, diced
large leeks, sliced, soaked in water to remove the grit
stalks celery, diced fine
garlic cloves, minced
potatoes, chopped, preferably Idaho or Russet (450g)
15-oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
fish stock (chicken or veg stock works, too)
capers, plus 1 tablespoon of brine
cream cheese, cut into cubes
half and half
hot sauce (I used Texas Pete's)
hot smoked salmon, shredded
flat-leaf parsley, diced for garnish
lemon wedges, for garnish
Sourdough bread bowls for serving, or slices of sourdough bread for dipping
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, celery, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions turn translucent.
Add the garlic and potatoes and stir. Add bay leaves and fennel seeds, stir. Add tomato paste and let toast for a minute. Stir in chopped tomatoes, stock, and capers. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked all the way through.
Remove the bay leaves and add the cream cheese, let it melt into the soup. Add the half & half and stir it until fully incorporated. When the soup just begins to simmer stir in the smoked salmon and stir until heated through. Add the hot sauce and combine.
Serve chowder in sourdough bowls or with sourdough bread on the side for dipping. Garnish with chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and hot sauce on the side.