Simple salmon chowder with potatoes, carrots and fresh dill

This creamy and buttery salmon chowder is the ultimate comfort food. Source: Getty Images

What defines a ‘chowder’ is up for debate, especially in the United States. Ingredients vary from region-to-region, some include cream others don’t. The word ‘chowder’ is likely a derivative of the French word ‘chaudiere’, which literally means ‘boiler’ and refers to the large pot used to boil fresh seafood (and especially shellfish).

For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to say that the chowder of today is a recipe that is usually creamy in texture and includes potato and seafood. The consistency is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Whatever your preference though, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s delicious.

I’ve avoided making such dishes in the past for a couple of reasons. The first is that I’m not particularly confident with shellfish and the second is that I’ve always considered ‘chowder’ to equate to ‘time consuming’ and when it comes to creating in the kitchen, I like my meals to be 98 per cent ‘quick and easy’. (There was that one time I did a five-course degustation for some family friends, but I digress …)

This salmon chowder recipe, however, is substantially easier than a traditional shellfish dish. The ingredients are all easy to get your hands on (and in the absence of fresh salmon, tinned is totally fine), it cooks in one pot, you’ll have it ready to plate in about 35 minutes, and you’ll enjoy it as a meal on it’s own.

Serves 6


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 250g bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups seafood (or chicken) stock
  • fresh dill
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups tinned or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups cream
  • 700g salmon, skin discarded and cut into 5cm pieces


  1. In a large, heavy stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until bacon begins to crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add celery, onions, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the stock, dill, potatoes, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and cooked bacon. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch and two tablespoons of water to form a slurry. Stir the corn starch slurry into the broth and bring to a boil. Let the soup boil for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly.
  4. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and stir in the corn and cream. Place the salmon pieces on top of the simmering soup, season it with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.
  5. Top with fresh dill and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
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