No-sweat salmon and potato soup

Delightfully delicious salmon and potato soup. Source: Getty Images

This straightforward salmon and potato soup recipe is a good meal for any season! We like using the fennel bulbs with the potatoes. A bit lighter and more broth-like than perhaps a traditional ‘chowder’, you could thicken things up with some flour if you wanted, to give yourself some extra comfort.

There’s a lot to like about this recipe. First, you can pull it all together in 30 minutes or less. Second, it is so versatile, so if you’re trying to stay low-carb or are wanting it to be dairy-free, the adaptations are fairly simple (we recommend you use coconut milk).

Serves 6


  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, 1 1/2 cups diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup vermouth, cooking sherry of white wine
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 340g baby potatoes, thinly sliced (approximately 1/4-inch thick)
  • 450g salmon, skinless (you can substitute for another fish such as cod or even prawns if you prefer), cut into 5cm pieces
  • 2 cups full-cream milk (substitute for coconut milk if wanting dairy-free)
  • Fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill and tarragon, to garnish


  1. Heat oil over medium heat, and sauté onion, fennel and celery until fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, fennel seeds and thyme and sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring. Add smoked paprika.
  2. Add vermouth and cook it off, about 1-2 minutes. Add stock, salt and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add potatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer over medium to low heat until tender, about 8-10 minutes (check at 7 minutes, be careful to not overcook).
  3. Prepare salmon by cutting into 5cm pieces, removing any of the brown fat and bones. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. When potatoes are fork-tender, add milk and bring to a low simmer (do not boil) and add salmon, gently poaching it in the soup for about 2 minutes. Turn heat off. Fish will continue to cook. If you continue to simmer the soup any longer it may cause a slight curdling (it’s still edible, but not as pretty). Flake fish apart, into bite-sized pieces, with a fork.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill and tarragon. Serve immediately.
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