Wild Salmon Chowder


This salmon chowder is detox-friendly and full of flavor. It contains some of the usual suspects, like onion, celery, thyme, and cream. But instead of starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, I used veggies high in fiber like red bell pepper and mushrooms.

Because I didn't add any thickeners like flour or corn starch, this soup has a light, thin broth instead of a heavy, sticky one. If you prefer a thicker soup, add a half cup of rinsed red lentils.

I added Aleppo pepper flakes because they give a gentle heat without being too spicy. Use crushed red pepper if you wish, or a fresh, thinly sliced chili pepper of your choice, or omit it completely if you don't like your soup spicy.

I garnished this dish with fresh dill, thyme, and scallion. Alternatively, you could garnish it with other fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, or with diced avocado or organic lemon zest.

I poached frozen, thawed salmon to use in this soup, but you could substitute fresh. If you don't have either one, used canned salmon, and in place of the poaching liquid, use seafood stock or bone broth.

  • 1¼ pound poached wild salmon plus poaching liquid, about 4 cups
  • ¼ pound diced pancetta or thick cut bacon (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ cup organic heavy cream
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish  

  1. Start by poaching the salmon. Once it's fully cooked, slightly cooled, and still warm, use your hands to break it up into bite-size pieces. Set it aside.
  2. While the salmon poaches, preheat a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until browned. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables start to stick to the bottom, or after 10 minutes, stir in the salt, peppercorn, and Aleppo pepper flakes.
  3. Strain the poaching liquid and add it to the pot. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Grate the garlic into the pot and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat. Stir in the fish sauce and cream. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments.

(NOTE: If you're making this ahead, cover and set it aside for up to 2 hours, then gently warm it back up over low heat.)

Just before serving, stir in the dill and thyme, then garnish with thinly sliced scallions and more fresh herbs.