Chowder is derived from the French word chaudière, which means caldron. Early French settlers who fished off Canada's east coast had these cooking vessels on their boats. In them they would cook up some of the day’s catch into a stew-like mixture that eventually became known as chowder. Chowder eventually became popular on land and some early versions were made by combining rendered salt pork with fish or shellfish in simmering water, all thickened with biscuits or bread. As chowder evolved, potatoes began to replace or supplement the biscuits or bread, milk and cream were used, and bacon was an occasional substitute for the salt pork. Many other styles of chowder began to appear, such as this west coast inspired one that features salmon.
Salmon, Potato and Corn Chowder
Make a meal of this soup by serving it with hot biscuits or thick slices of French bread.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: About 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium celery rib, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp (30 mL) flour
3 3/4 cups (925 mL) chicken or fish stock
1/2 tsp (125 mL) dried tarragon
2 medium white potatoes, cubed
1 lb. (375 g) salmon fillets, skin removed, flesh cut into small cubes
1/2 cup (125 mL) light cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh or frozen corn kernels
• salt and white pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the flour and cook 2 minutes more. Slowly, stirring constantly, pour in the stock. Mix in the tarragon and potatoes, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in the salmon, cream and corn, return to a simmer, and simmer until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve, if desired, sprinkled with snipped chives or sliced green onion.