Favorite things: potatoes, leeks, salmon


My starting point for this chowder was a Sunset recipe that included fennel, which I don’t care for, so I omitted it. The original recipe also called for chicken broth, and I use veggie. We are very fond of potatoes, leeks and salmon around here, so this chowder wins favorite soup at our house. Plus there are only two of us, so we have lots of leftovers.

3 pounds leeks
3/4 cup thinly sliced chives
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups vegetable broth
1 dried bay leaf
3 pounds thin-skinned potatoes [I use Yukon golds]
1 pound thin-sliced or flaked smoked salmon [I use the hot-smoked kind, but you might try cold-smoked (lox)]
5 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (or more, to taste) [I use cracked black pepper and a little cayenne]

Trim and discard root ends and coarse tops from leeks. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and rinse under running water, flipping layers to flush out grit; drain; thinly slice crosswise.
In a 6- to 8-quart soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add leeks, cover, and stir occasionally until very limp, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add broth and bay leaf to pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes.
Add potatoes to broth mixture and return to a simmer; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cut salmon into strips 2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide; put in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add to potato-broth mixture and stir often over high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve into bowls from the soup pot. Offer with smoked salmon and chives to add to taste.

Makes about 8 servings


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