Salmon Chowder

SOBO restaurant in Tofino is on my top 5 list of favourite restaurants and we’ve eaten many a meal there, gracefully welcomed despite camping attire and a gaggle of children. As much as I always want to try something new, I also have to have a bowl Chef Lisa’s chowder—the best I’ve ever eaten. I was sold on her cookbook as soon as I saw the recipe included and it is true to its origin. Although I love making it her way, it is a little rich for regularity and for my kids’ tastes. This is my homage in a version you could eat once a week and make a little faster. The smoked salmon really adds wonderful flavour but it’s delicious even without it.

Serves 6-8 (So you get lunch leftovers!)

3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

2 large onions, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 lbs potatoes, chopped

1.5 litres stock or water

2 bay leaves

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

2 tsp thyme

200 g smoked salmon (optional)

2 cups whole milk

1 lb boneless wild salmon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-3 tsp salt, less if stock and/or smoked salmon used

1/2 bunch dill, chopped

In a large pot, heat 3 Tbsp oil on medium low, then add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 to 15 minutes until softened. Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté another 3 minutes, stirring continually. Add potatoes, stock, bay leaves and oregano. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Add the smoked salmon, if using, and the milk and hold at a low heat. Meanwhile heat a large, preferably cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil then the salmon, skin side down. Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until the flesh lifts easily off the skin. Cut gently into bite-sized pieces then add to the soup. Heat gently another 10 minutes, being careful not to bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning then serve garnished with heaps of fresh dill and hot sauce if desired. Consider whole grain cornbread and a side salad to accompany the soup.


By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Generation Health delivers programs to families across British Columbia, on the territories of many distinct First Nations. We are grateful to all the First Nations who have cared for and nurtured the lands and waters around us for all time. We acknowledge the rights, interests, priorities, and concerns of all Indigenous Peoples - First Nations, Métis, and Inuit - respecting and acknowledging their distinct cultures, histories, rights, laws, and governments.