Corn and Smoked Salmon Chowder

20 May

Corn & smoked salmon chowderWe’re starting to see fresh corn in the markets again, so keep this recipe on hand for the summer months.

The original recipe called for frozen corn, but use fresh if you can get it. I also added a few squirts of Tabasco and a pinch of ground nutmeg. The potato is optional, but it gives the soup some body; cook it for about 15 minutes before adding the corn. The soup is good with fat-free milk, but if you make it with whole-fat milk it will taste richer.

You can probably use cooked salmon instead of smoked salmon and increase the amount of salt slightly. Once the smoked salmon is in the soup, it tastes like regular salmon!

This is not one of those soups that has to simmer for hours, so you can make it with little advance planning if you have the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ to ⅔ cup each finely chopped onion, celery and sweet red pepper
2 Tbs. flour
3 cups vegetable stock, heated
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces, optional
2 cups low-fat milk
½ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
2 cups fresh corn (cooked and sliced from the cob) or frozen corn (thawed)
4 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
A few drops of Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce, optional
Dash ground nutmeg, optional
Fresh parsley, dill or chervil for garnish

Directions:

Saute the onion, celery and red pepper in butter over medium heat until the onion is just beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, another minute or two. Add the warm stock, stirring till smooth, and cook another 2 or 3 minutes until it thickens slightly (here’s where I would add the potato and cook a little longer).

Add the milk and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, black pepper and corn. (Remember that the smoked salmon will add some salt, so don’t use too much; you can add more later if necessary.) Add the Tabasco and nutmeg if desired.  Bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the salmon. Serve immediately, sprinkled with a chopped fresh herb such as parsley, dill or chervil.

Serves 6

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