This was a really tasty, filling and lovely recipe. I only gave it 4 stars out of 5 (even though what I ended up making had a 5-star taste, but it wasn't the recipe as written). I added the smoked salmon and fennel tops at the end and this infused the chowder with a wonderful smokey flavor. Served topped with chives and cracked papper. This was a great way to use a small amount of quality fish w/o breaking the bank - a little went a long way in this soup. This recipe makes A LOT of soup, but it's chalk-full of beautiful vegetables and all the chopping is worth it. Reheated better the 2nd and 3rd day. Enjoy!
Leek and Fennel Chowder with Smoked Salmon
Notes: Use either soft, cold-smoked salmon (also called lox or Nova-style) or firmer, hot-smoked salmon (also called kippered), or offer both for an interesting mix. If preparing chowder through step 7 up to 1 day ahead, cool, cover, and chill; chill salmon, chives, and fennel sprigs separately. Reheat chowder, covered, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often.
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- Calories: 357
- Calories from fat: 28%
- Protein: 27g
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated fat: 5.5g
- Carbohydrate: 40g
- Fiber: 8.6g
- Sodium: 1499mg
- Cholesterol: 42mg
- 3 pounds leeks
- 2 heads fennel (each 3 in. at widest dimension; 2 1/2 to 3 lb. total)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced chives
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3 pounds thin-skinned potatoes
- 1 pound thin-sliced smoked salmon (see notes)
- 5 cups milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- About 1/2 teaspoon salt
- About 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1. Trim and discard root ends and coarse tops from leeks. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and rinse under running water, flipping layers to flush out grit; drain, then thinly slice crosswise.
- 2. Rinse fennel. Trim off and discard root ends and stalks; reserve 2 or 3 sprigs of feathery green tops for garnish, and finely chop enough of the remaining feathery leaves to make 3 tablespoons (discard any remaining greens). In a bowl, mix chopped greens with chives; cover and chill. Chop fennel heads.
- 3. In a 6- to 8-quart pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add leeks and chopped fennel heads, cover, and stir occasionally until vegetables are very limp, 10 to 12 minutes.
- 4. Add broth and bay leaf to pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes.
- 5. Add potatoes to broth mixture and return to a simmer; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.
- 6. Cut salmon into strips 2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide; put in a bowl.
- 7. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add to potato-broth mixture and stir over high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- 8. Serve soup from pan, or pour into a tureen. Garnish with reserved fennel sprigs. Offer with smoked salmon and chive mixture to add to taste.
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