Culinary School flew by at such a rapid pace that I barely remember the basics. Today, 11 years later, I couldn’t tourne a potato to save my life, even though we spent weeks perfecting our technique. Knowledge was imparted by Chef, 90% of it sadly unretained by this student.
Someone recently asked me what defines a soup as “chowder” and, as that definition was probably somewhere in my missing 90%, I didn’t have a sufficient answer. Does using seafood make it chowder? Nope. Seafood is a standard ingredient, yes, but not a requirement. Does adding cream make it chowder? Chowders are often finished with cream, but they don’t have to be.
According to The Professional Chef, the tome we relied upon in school, chowder is defined as, “a soup that is thickened with flour, roux or potatoes.” Thank goodness “potatoes” were in that mix, because I’ve been calling this recipe “chowder” for years.
Who knew I could be validated by a potato.
Salmon Corn Chowder
A hearty soup loaded with salmon, bacon, sweet corn, and, of course, potatoes.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ¼ cup brandy, white wine, or dry sherry
- ¾ lb. potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups frozen or fresh corn
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups cooked salmon, cubed
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Add onion, carrot and celery to the bacon fat and cook until softened and beginning to brown.
- Add bay leaf, thyme, and brandy; reduce, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add potatoes and chicken stock, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Add corn and simmer until corn is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add heavy whipping cream, salmon, and reserved bacon. Simmer 10 more minutes, remove bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper.