Smoked Fish Chowder — Snow Day Satisfaction

29 Jan

I could have called this post Carrots and Onions and Celery. Oh, My! Seems every recipe I’ve cooked in the last two weeks starts with these ingredients as a base. And sometimes garlic. A Savvy Single cook will make certain these items are constantly on hand, at least throughout the winter months.

Fighting the flu has been my primary occupation lately. Today I tried the rest-whine-hot shower-pot-of-tea remedies. Switched to some fresh-air-and-exercise late in the day as the snow piled up outside my door (again).

An hour later, I felt better but wanted a quick to cook, easy to digest, warming, thick bowl of sustenance for my supper. I decided to try the Smoked Trout Chowder recipe Chatelaine magazine published in their February 2013 issue. As usual, I had to make some substitutions, given the ingredients I had at hand.

Chunks of potato, carrot, celery in a creamy broth with smoked fish

Chunks of potato, carrot, celery in a creamy broth with smoked fish

I didn’t have smoked trout, but I did have some left-over smoked mackerel and smoked salmon. I had used all my 35% whipping cream in yesterday’s Beef Stroganoff (will post that recipe later), so I used 1/2 + 1/2 instead. I didn’t miss the full cream, either in taste or in fat calories! I just used a bit more of the coffee cream and simmered a while longer to improve the thickening.

I also didn’t have the Herbes de Provence called for in the recipe. A quick on-line search gave me the ‘recipe’ to create my own. The only truly French item I lacked was the dried lavender. Into a 1/2 cup canning jar I measured out:

  • 2 teaspoons           dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons           savory
  • 1 teaspoon             dried lavender
  • 1 teaspoon             marjoram (I used mint)
  • 1/2 tsp                    fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp                    rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp                    dried basil
  • 1                               Bay leaf, crushed

Put the lid on the jar and shake well. Label for future use.

Smoked Fish Chowder          

Makes: 2 Servings             Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes

Have everything chopped and measured before you begin cooking and things will move quickly.

  • 1 tablespoon               butter
  • 1                                    celery stalk, chopped
  • 1                                    medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small                         onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon               all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon                  salt (I omitted this, figuring the smoked fish and the broth would be salty  enough)
  • 1 1/2                             Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes (I used 3 small, thin-skinned new ones and didn’t bother to peel them)
  • 1/8 cup                         dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cup                      vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup                        milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon               Herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 cup                         35% (whipping) cream (I used about 3/8 cup of 10% 1/2 + 1/2 cream)
  • 100 g                             smoked fish, skin removed and flaked
  • 1 Tablespoon              fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
Simmer vegetables in broth, wine, milk

Simmer vegetables in broth, wine, milk


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped celery, carrots and onion. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until the carrots soften.
  3. Add the diced potatoes, broth, wine, milk and Herbes de Provence. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to Medium-low and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the flaked, smoked fish, cream (and 1 teaspoon dried parsley if you’re not using fresh). Stir and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes until fish is heated and the soup has thickened. If using 1/2 + 1/2 in lieu of the 35% cream, simmer and stir for up to 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if using.
(L-R) wedge of Oatmeal-Currant Bannock, glass of  Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Smoked Fish Chowder

(L-R) wedge of Oatmeal-Currant Bannock, glass of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Smoked Fish Chowder

I ate my chowder with a warm wedge of Authentic Cree Bannock . . . but this time I made it with 1.5 cups of rolled oats and 2 cups of all-purpose white flour (instead of the 3 cups white I used in the original recipe, see here.)

Oatmeal-Currant Bannock

Oatmeal-Currant Bannock


One Response to “Smoked Fish Chowder — Snow Day Satisfaction”


  1. Menu Planning — Week of January 27, 2013 « Savvy Single Suppers - February 2, 2013

    […] I get a hankering for soup again, I am leaning toward a Smoked-Fish Chowder. What are you planning to put on your plate this […]

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