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April 19, 2010

Recipe for salmon and corn chowder with smoky pepper

Salmon and corn chowder 

Taking inventory in my refrigerator last night, I found some leftover bits from recipes made and not made over the weekend: a small piece of salmon that needed to be cooked, organic corn that had been defrosted and couldn't be frozen again, a quart of whole milk I'd been planning to use for... I can't remember what. I added a few stray Yukon Gold potatoes, a bit of clam juice from the pantry, and a big pinch of sultry red pepper flakes -- in this case, the fabulously musky urfa pepper from Turkey, more smoky than spicy. A few tablespoons of nonfat Greek yogurt added richness. Voila! A nice, light salmon and corn chowder, made in less than half an hour, and without a drop of heavy cream.

Salmon and corn chowder with smoky pepper

Serves 4.


1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp urfa pepper (or Aleppo), or more to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
1/2 lb frozen corn kernels, defrosted
8 oz bottled clam juice (or homemade fish stock)
2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
8 oz salmon filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-low heat, add the oil, onion and potato. Stir frequently to keep the potatoes from sticking, for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the urfa pepper, thyme and corn, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add the clam juice. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife. Raise heat to medium-low, uncover the pot, and add the milk and yogurt. Stir until the yogurt is combined, then add the salmon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through. (Do not bring to the boil; if the soup looks like it's going to boil, reduce the heat or remove from the burner for a minute.) Check for seasoning again, and serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Teresa | April 19, 2010 at 08:26 AM

Yum, that looks good! I had not thought to use Greek yogurt to add creaminess without adding the calories of cream. And I love Greek yogurt so I often have it on hand.

Posted by: CJ McD | April 19, 2010 at 03:36 PM

Oh yum!

Bonus- the aleppo pepper. I discovered it a couple of years ago and now it is absolutely a staple ingredient in our kitchen.

Posted by: Sandie {Inn Cuisine} | April 20, 2010 at 02:19 AM

Hmm...never thought to add salmon to corn chowder. Proof that delightful things can come from taking inventory in the fridge!

Posted by: Lydia | April 20, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Teresa, I admit I've been putting Greek yogurt in everything lately, but that's because it's always in my refrigerator, and because it's a great way to add nonfat richness to dishes.

CJ, love Aleppo pepper. I actually couldn't decide which to put into this soup, and ultimately chose the urfa. But either would be delicious.

Sandie, the salmon adds a beautiful color to this otherwise very white soup. My photo doesn't do it justice.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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