This is a main course chowder. The food processor step can be skipped altogether if you are not in the mood–the chowder will still be delicious, just not quite as thick or blended together. There is such great pleasure in watching your kid eat something that doesn’t fall neatly into the bucket of “kid-friendly foods,” and if you had to pick a winner for this kind of sheer parent-thrill, fish soup would be right up there.
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 pounds skinless salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cups minced shallots
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sliced scallions (for garnish)
- Crumbled cooked bacon (for garnish)
Cut the salmon into 1-inch pieces. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add half the salmon and sauté just until the outside turns opaque, about 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, and repeat with the other half of the salmon.
Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil in a stockpot or very large saucepan. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes. Partially cover the pot, keep the broth at a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of the corn kernels with the half-and-half, and use a slotted spoon to scoop out about 1/2 cup of cooked potatoes and add those to the blender; puree until smooth.
Add the pureed mixture, along with the remaining corn kernels, back into the pot, and return to just barely a simmer. Simmer gently for 2 minutes, add the partially cooked salmon and the dill, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 2 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through. Use the back of the spoon to break up the salmon into smaller chunks. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed and serve hot, with whatever garnishes you like.