Certain foods just need to be made and eaten at least once a summer. Corn chowder (or chowdah, as my in-laws would say) is one. And if you are in a place where ears of fresh sweet corn are piled high at the markets, then you must make it more than once.
There are lots of ways to go — simple, seafood, creamy, chunky. This recipe is loaded with nuggets of baked salmon and qualifies as a main course chowder.
If you have other kinds of fish or seafood, sub them in. Clams, scallops, white fish — all delicious. Just make sure they are in soup-appropriate bite-size pieces. You can saute them as directed in the recipe, but if they are left over from another summer meal, you can skip that step.
The first time I made this, I served it to the kid with a quiet uncertainty — fish in soups had been met with mixed results. But to my surprise and delight (which could be the motto of cooking for kids), Charlie loved this.
There is great pleasure in watching your kid eat something that doesn’t fall neatly into the bucket of “kid-friendly foods,” and if I had to pick a winner for this kind of parent thrill, fish soup would be right up there.
SALMON CORN CHOWDER
By Katie Workman
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds skinless salmon fillets, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons minced dill
- Kosher or coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
>> Garnishes (any one or all): Sliced scallions, crumbled cooked bacon, minced dill
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add salmon and saute until outside turns opaque, about 2 minutes (you may need to work in batches). Remove from skillet.
In a stockpot or large saucepan over medium-high, heat oil. Add shallots and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-high and add potatoes. Partially cover pot, keep broth at a simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of the corn kernels with half-and-half. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out about 1/2 cup of cooked potatoes and add those to the bender; puree until smooth.
Add pureed mixture along with remaining corn kernels and dill back into pot, and return to just barely a simmer.
Simmer gently 2 minutes, add partially cooked salmon, season with salt and pepper and simmer another 2 minutes, until salmon is just cooked through.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed and serve hot, with whatever garnishes you like. Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 315 calories, 12 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 53 mg cholesterol, 331 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 23 g protein.