Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Northwest Salmon Chowder

It has been sooooo grey, cold and windy here!  The thing I miss most about the winter since we moved to Eastern Oregon from Portland is the green.  No matter the time of year it is lush and beautiful, even if it's constantly drizzling. 

Can't you just SMELL the green!

Here in the Eastern half of the state it is grey, the trees have no leaves, the sky is overcast.  It rains, but the rain only brings things to life in the spring.  For now we wait.  It's hard not to get down this time of year without even a dusting of snow to lift my spirits.  So, in the name of cold dreary winters in the Northwest, I bring you comfort food- Northwest Salmon Chowder. 

Now since I am on a single-income budget, fish is not something I tend to buy unless it comes in a can.  I  would suggest buying the little cans of salmon that look like tuna cans.  NOT the large ones, unless of course you want to spend half an hour picking out bits of bone, skin and gelatinous fat.  I made that mistake once and will never do it again!  The salmon in the tuna-sized containers is nice and clean, ready to throw into your soup pot.  If you want to use fresh salmon, by all means, do!  Just cut it into bite-sized pieces and add to the soup, being careful not to stir too hard and break up the pieces.
I like this with a nice crusty french bread from the bakery and oyster crackers. 

1/2 c. each chopped celery, onion and green pepper
1 garlic clove
3 Tbsp. butter
14 oz. chicken broth
1 c. peeled and diced potatoes, raw
1 c. shredded carrots
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4-3/4 tsp. dill weed
1 can creamed corn (14.75 oz.)
2 c. half-and-half
15 oz. canned salmon, or fresh cut into cubes

In a large pot saute the vegetables and garlic in butter until tender.  Don't overcook the garlic or it will become bitter.  Add the broth, potatoes, carrots and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 min. until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the corn, half-and-half and salmon.  Simmer gently for 15 min. until heated through.  If using fresh fish, test for doneness before serving.

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