salmon chowder

styling by Catrine Kelty | photo by Keller + Keller

Recipe adapted from Pike’s Place Chowder, Seattle, WA

Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds salmon, skin and bones removed
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery (plus some leaves), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced  
1/4 cup flour
4 cups water
4 cups half and half or milk (or a combination) 
2 tablespoons tomato paste  
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed, optional or to taste
Fresh lemon wedges, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet with a bit of oil. Add salmon and coat top of salmon with a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Once cooled, break into large chunks.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, add potatoes and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half or quarters and set aside.
  4. In a large pot, melt butter. Add onions and celery and cook until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour. Slowly add water, half and half or milk, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until chowder has thickened. Add salmon, potatoes, and capers (if using) and cook until just warmed through, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon into bowls and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and serve.

Serves 8-10.

cook’s note: The original Pike’s Place recipe is made with cold smoked salmon or lox (with cream cheese, and capers), and is meant to mimic the flavors of a bagel sandwich.