Salmon Tomato Chowder
I have been thinking about fish chowder for quite a while and this Salmon Tomato Chowder recipe was so satisfying. The actual inspiration for this recipe came all the way back in 2020 while visiting the British Virgin Islands. One of my favorite stops while touring the islands on a catamaran was Virgin Gorda island, Oil Nut Bay.
The kind management at Oil Nut Bay allowed me to spend a little time with the chef and his team and one of the recipes they taught me is simply called “Fish Soup”. And although the ingredients of these two recipes (my Salmon Chowder and their Fish Soup) are notably different, the technique is the same and really – it’s the technique that’s key to excellent fish soup of any kind.
3 Steps to Fish Soup
Any good fish soup recipe can really be divided into 3 simple steps ::
- flavor development
- cooking the fish
By preparation, I just mean — get your stuff together. Be organized, chop the veggies, measure the ingredients, open the cans. Get everything ready BECAUSE this soup will cook quickly – so do the prep.
The majority of time for this chowder will be spent in phase 2 – flavor development. The beauty of this recipe is that everything (EXCEPT the salmon) can be added at once. I specifically selected butternut squash and cauliflower because they require about 30-40 minutes to soften. During that time, the tomatoes and spices are developing a beautiful depth of flavor that creates an amazing Salmon Chowder.
Cooking the fish is BY FAR the shortest phase of this process. A couple of keys to perfectly cooked fish in fish soup include ::
- consistent knife cuts
- a watchful eye
I prepared the salmon by cutting the filet into precise 1″ chunks. This enabled even cooking time and prevented the dreaded under OR over cooking of the star of the soup. It will only take about 4 minutes to perfectly cook the salmon once it’s added to the soup – so keep watch.
If you’re unsure of how to tell when the fish is done, an instant read thermometer will take away the guesswork (145°) and make you look like a pro!
This Salmon Tomato Chowder is everything I hoped. Tenderly cooked salmon married with the intense, well-developed flavors of hearty tomato chowder that’s packed with chunks of butternut squash, cauliflower and cabbage. Certainly, this recipe sounds challenging but – trust me – it’s as simple as they come!
Salmon Tomato Chowder
- 2 lb Norwegian Salmon filet, cut into 1″ chunks
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 T canola oil
- 10 oz cauliflower florets
- 10 oz butternut squash, 1/2″ cubes
- 6 oz coleslaw mix
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 12 oz crushed tomatoes
- 14 oz canned whole cherry (or stewed) tomatoes
- 12 oz chicken (or vegetable/fish) broth
- 1 T whole grain mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 t finely ground pepper
- 1 t coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 t sweet paprika
- 2 T Italian parsley, chopped
In a large, 6-7 qt soup pot, heat oil over medium flame. Add onion and garlic, stirring 2-3 minutes to soften onions.
Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT SALMON). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, 35-45 minutes, until the butternut squash and cauliflower are tender.
Add salmon and gently stir, while simmering (not boiling). Cook until salmon is cooked through* and reaches an internal temperature of 145°.
Note* if you do not have an instant read thermometer, cook for 3 minutes after adding the salmon. Then remove one piece, cut it in half and check for desired doneness.