The potatoes are cooked and diced ahead of time. If you have leftover boiled potatoes from another meal, so much the better; the chowder will be done in record time! And feel free to use canned (drained) peas if you like. If you like corn chowder, replace the peas with whole kernel corn. For extra flavor, add about 1/4 cup of diced onion and 1/4 cup of diced carrot to the saucepan and saute it along with the celery.
For a lighter broth, replace 1 cup of the milk with chicken stock or clam juice.
Serve this thick and hearty salmon chowder with crackers or crusty rolls and a tossed salad. The chowder takes just minutes to prepare and cook with a simple roux, canned salmon, and cooked vegetables.
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (or peas and carrots)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup celery
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 can (16 ounces) salmon (boned, drained, and flaked)
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. You should have about 2 cups of diced potatoes. Put them in a saucepan and cover them with water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside.
- Steam the peas on the stovetop or in the microwave following the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the celery and saute until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add the flour to the celery and butter mixture; blend well. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk. Place the pan back over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the cooked potatoes, peas, and salmon. Heat through and then stir in cheese. Continue to cook until the cheese has melted.
- Low starch to medium-starch potatoes, such as red-skinned, Yukon gold, fingerlings, or new potatoes, are ideal for soup because they hold their shape better than higher starch potatoes.
- Canned salmon is completely cooked. All you have to do is drain it to eat or use in a recipe. You might notice bits of skin and bone. Remove the skin and visible bones if you like, but keep in mind the soft bones add calcium and can be mashed. You probably won't even notice they're there once the salmon is cooked into the soup.
- Fresh salmon is another option for the dish. Remove the skin from salmon steaks or fillets and dice the salmon. Add the diced salmon to the soup about 3 minutes before you add the peas and cooked potatoes.
- For a thicker chowder, use 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.