The flavor of this salmon chowder is greatly enhanced by adding either fresh dill or dried tarragon: each herb lends its own distinctively different and appealing character to the soup. Even if you don’t keep instant mashed potatoes in your pantry, it’s worth picking some up for this soup. They give the soup a thick, chowder texture without any heavy cream or butter. Leftover mashed potatoes work too, but give a slightly less-velvety texture. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
1 tablespoon canola oil⅓ cup chopped carrot⅓ cup chopped celery4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth1½ cups water1 12-ounce skinned salmon fillet, preferably wild-caught (see Note and Tip)2½ cups frozen cauliflower florets, thawed and coarsely chopped3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallions, or 1½ tablespoons dried chives1⅓ cups instant mashed potato flakes (see Note), or 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes¼ cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon1 tablespoon Dijon mustard¼ teaspoon saltFreshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables just begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, water, salmon, cauliflower and chives (or scallions) and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, maintaining a gentle simmer, until the salmon is just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the salmon to a clean cutting board. Flake into bite-size pieces with a fork.Stir potato flakes (or leftover mashed potatoes), dill (or tarragon) and mustard into the soup until well blended. Return to a simmer. Add the salmon and reheat. Season with salt and pepper.
Notes: Instant mashed potato flakes is not a product that we typically use in our recipes, but we love how it gives creamy texture to soup without adding extra fat. Look for a brand that has the fewest ingredients possible (and therefore little to no artificial additives or flavoring). At our local market, the store brand was the best choice.Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. For more information, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch(mTip: To skin a salmon fillet, place on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
Tilapia Corn Chowder
This light soup is a great way to slip fresh corn (and tilapia, of course!) into your late-summer menu. Make it a meal: Enjoy with a mixed green salad and oyster crackers.
2 ounces bacon, (about 2 slices1 teaspoon canola oil1 stalk celery, diced1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, diced2 cups fresh corn kernels, (about 4 ears)1½ pounds tilapia fillets, cut into bite-size pieces1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme1 cup half-and-half2 teaspoons lemon juice2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, (optional)
Chop bacon and cook in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.Add oil to the pan. Add celery, leek, salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and corn. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the potatoes are just tender and the corn is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in tilapia and thyme; return to a gentle simmer. Cook until the tilapia is cooked through, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat.Stir in half-and-half, lemon juice and the reserved bacon. Garnish with chives, if using.