Salmon Chowder

A creamy but low-fat chowder made with chunks of fresh salmon in a creamy broth with carrot, potato and fresh fennel. This is a soul-satisfying soup, here on the cusp of winter-to-spring. Surprisingly low in calories and Weight Watchers Friendly!
Salmon Chowder ♥, fresh salmon in a creamy broth with carrot, potato, fennel.


Is There a "Faux Food" You'd Like Food Scientists to Invent?

You won’t find many faux foods in Kitchen Parade. But once in awhile, along comes a product worth touting.

For months, I ignored the raves about fat-free half ‘n’ half. Like low-fat butter, it sounded too good to be true, tempting with promise but certain to disappoint. Once tried, however, it was instantly a refrigerator staple, especially for creamy essence in soups like this week’s SALMON CHOWDER.

But truth be told, some times this product disappoints. Its calorie count is up there with whole milk’s even if the fat grams match up with skim’s. But it’s an unreliable substitute: in quiche and casseroles, for example, it separates and refuses to thicken.

Still, to my taste buds and my waist line, it can’t be beat in winter-hearty, body-healthy soups.

A Real Food Update: The truth is, I've stopped buying fat-free half 'n' half. Today we just use whole milk, all the creaminess we like for almost the same calories. And in an age of simplification, it's one less thing for the grocery list.

Are any ambitious food scientists reading? Half ‘n’ half is a good start. But how about calorie-free bacon cheeseburgers and Friday-night pizza and grilled ribeyes and hot-buttered muffins still warm from the oven and chocolate chip cookies alongside a cold glass of milk and … and … and … fix these and faux is fine, just fine.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 35 minutes
Makes 9 cups
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 1 14-ounce can fat-free chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 8 ounces (225g) russet potato, skin on, diced (from 1 large potato)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon, cut in half- inch pieces
  • 2 cups fat-free half ’n’ half or whole milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme or chive, optional

Bring the broth to a boil in the microwave. (Skip this step if you’re not in a rush.)

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium high. Add the oil, once it’s hot, add the vegetables as they’re prepped, stirring well with each addition, letting some color develop. Add the bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. (If you’re cooking ahead, stop here.)

Stir in the salmon, making sure to submerse so it’ll cook through. Add the half ‘n’ half or milk and bring almost to a boil but do not allow to boil, let simmer just until the salmon cooks.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top bowls with fresh thyme or chive if desired.

ALANNA's TIPS Foodies may sniff but for every-day, I find minced garlic from a jar more than good enough in taste to say nothing of a time-saver. Leave the skins on the potato, adding fiber and saving a minute or two. For a heartier soup, use a pound of salmon or double the stock and add diced zucchini or sweet potato or ribbons of fresh spinach. Leftover Salmon Chowder reheats beautifully but doesn’t freeze well. This soup tastes quite fresh when eaten immediately but does develop more nuance and depth when allowed to rest for a day for the flavors to meld.
Per Cup when made with Whole Milk: 133 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 14g Carb; 2g Fiber; 265mg Sodium; 19mg Cholesterol; 5g Sugars; 9g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 2 This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in fat and portion size and increases in fiber-rich vegetables.

Per Cup when made with Fat-Free Half 'n' Half: 131 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 16g Carb; 2g Fiber; 317mg Sodium; 16mg Cholesterol; 4g Sugars; 8g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 2

More Seafood Soup Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Oyster Stew Lazy Man's Ciopinno, Shrimp & Fish Stew Summer Seafood Chowder
~ more soup recipes ~
~ more salmon recipes ~

More Favorite Recipes for March

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Caraway Corned Beef Skillet Cornbread Savory Orange Slices ♥

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ carrots ~
~ potatoes ~
~ corn ~
~ salmon ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2011, 2015 (repub) & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/21/2007

    Alanna, I've never heard of salmon chowder but it sounds delicious. I am definitely going to have to try this out. Thanks:)


  2. Anonymous7/21/2007

    Mmmm...I bet this would also work with leftover salmon, just added at the very end?

    You know me, always trying to get my dishes to double-up!



Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna