Fresh corn is one of my favorite summer pleasures. I don’t eat a whole lot of it, but during its brief attendance in my vegetable garden, I can often be seen eating corn nightly until the crop is finished! The height of corn season is just about wrapping up, and by now we’ve all eaten our fair share of corn on the cob, each kernel bursting with juicy sweetness and dripping with melted butter. Though eating from the cob is my favorite way to indulge, sometimes I’ll venture outside of cob world and use the kernels in some other dish…the blasphemy!
We had a somewhat dreary day here recently, and a fresh shipment of beautiful pink coho salmon just happened to be gracing the fishmonger’s case. I already had an idea in mind to make soup for dinner because it just sounded good. Once I saw the salmon, I knew just what to prepare. This chowder is hearty and could rightfully suit a cold winter’s eve, but it’s not cloyingly heavy or rich, plus the fresh corn, new potatoes, and herbs add a brightness that’s perfect for al fresco summer dining.
Rather than add cubed fish to my chowder, I like to poach large pieces of fillet in the broth, then remove it with a slotted spoon and break the flesh into large chunks. This keeps the fish very moist, and it also keeps the large chunks intact so they don’t flake apart into tiny pieces.
Corn and Salmon Chowder with Bacon and Dill
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30–40 minutes
6 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch wide pieces
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
½ lb. potatoes (preferably thin-skinned new potatoes, Yukon gold, or red), cut in large dice
1 cup fish stock
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1½–2 lbs. salmon, cut in 4–6 oz. fillets, or salmon steaks (the bones will add tremendous flavor and nutrition)
2 cobs fresh corn
⅓ cup fresh chopped dill
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and cracked pepper
- Cook bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but a few tablespoons bacon fat, leaving remainder in pot.
- Add onions and celery to pot. Cook in rendered bacon fat until almost tender. Add potatoes, stirring to coat with fat. Cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add fish stock, milk, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add salmon fillets or steaks, cover pot with lid, and poach until fish is just cooked through. Carefully remove salmon with a slotted spoon. Set on a plate to cool slightly.
- Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to soup. Add dill and cook for a couple minutes, until corn is barely cooked through. When cool enough to handle, remove any skin and bones from salmon and break flesh into large chunks. Return salmon to chowder. Add cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
- chemical- and hormone-free meat
- wild-caught fish
- pasture-raised, organic eggs
- whole, unrefined grains
- virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
- whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
- pure, clean, spring water
- sea salt
- raw and/or cultured milk and cream products