Sunday, March 15, 2015

Smoked Salmon, Vegetable and Barley Chowder: Healthy & Hearty for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

A neighbor stopped me and asked if I liked smoked salmon. When I said that I loved it, she brought me a large box of smoked sockeye salmon saying they got it for Christmas and don't like fish. So sad. But, their loss is my gain. ;-) 24 oz of smoked salmon had me thinking of different things I could make, but I kept going back to salmon chowder.  

I have a few different recipes for salmon and other fish chowders on the blog and wanted to add a different element to this one so I decided on quick-cooking barley. I love the texture--how it adds creaminess and a chewy texture at the same time. I like my fish chowder to have a milky but not too creamy broth so I use coconut milk and don't bother with making a roux. In addition to the usual potatoes and other veggies, local fennel and frozen sweet corn add pops of flavor. 

Smoked Salmon, Vegetable and Barley Chowder
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6-8)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 small fennel bulbs, chopped, reserve some of the fronds to serve
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot. chopped
2 cloves garlic
4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
6 cups low-sodium veggie stock (or fish stock, clam juice, etc.)
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme + extra to garnish
2 tsps Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup quick-cooking Barley
2 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen, thawed)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk or milk of choice
8-12 oz smoked salmon, reserve any liquid if possible
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When heated, add onion, fennel, celery, and carrots and sauté them for about 8 minutes, or until softened and onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Add potatoes, veggie stock, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and Old Bay Seasoning and bring to a boil. Partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are mostly tender. Bring back to a rapid simmer, add quick cooking barley, and cook another 20 minutes--until barley is tender. 

Remove bay leaves and stems of thyme sprigs--pulling off any thyme leaves attached and adding them back to the soup. Stir in corn and coconut milk. Break salmon into large chunks and carefully stir into the soup. (If the liquid you reserve from the salmon is free of added colors and preservatives, add some of it to the soup if desired for extra smoky flavor.)  Taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

Ladle into large bowls and garnish with chopped reserved fennel fronds, a few thyme leaves and a sprinkle of smoky paprika if desired. Serve with baguette slices to soak up the broth. 

Notes/Results: A satisfying bowl of chowder that is full of flavor. I love the combination and contrast of the smoky salmon, the slight sharpness of the fennel, the sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the both and chewiness of the barley. Filling and full of healthy fiber, it hit the spot on a cool, windy weekend. I would happily make it again. 

Plenty of good friends are visiting the Souper Sundays kitchen this week--let's see who is here and what fabulous dishes they brought with them.  

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with a creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup and says, "I've mentioned many times that I am not overly keen on the bushy broccoli heads (preferring the stalks), but when cooked down and pureed.  I enjoy it.  D also enjoyed this soup, especially the addition of grated cheese on top."   

Mireille of Chef Mireille's East West Realm shares Lebanese Rishta or Lentil Vermicelli Soup. She says, "This is a very simple soup that perfect for the frigid temperatures we are suffering through here in NY. ... When you come in exhausted after negotiating snow, ice storms and gargantuan puddles, this is the perfect soup to make you feel all warm and cuddly inside and forget about the weather outside the window."

It's always nice to have Simona of briciole here at Souper Sundays. This week she shares Black Chickpea Soup or Zuppa di Ceci Neri. Simona says, "I have a package of ceci neri (black chickpeas) from Italy (Puglia, to be precise) and decided to make a soup with them.  ceci neri are truly black and somewhat smaller than "regular" chickpeas - This is a nourishing soup with a deep flavor. Ceci neri are tastier than their cream-colored relatives. I am wondering how good would black chickpea hummus be."

My pal Kim of Stirring the Pot tried Donna Hay's Irish Beef Stew with Puff Pastry Dippers and says, "A lovely beef stew to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! The puff pastry dippers are a fun twist to this hearty Irish inspired Beef Stew. After all, who can argue with a puff pastry dipper?  Especially when you can dunk into this thick, herbaceous, meaty, and veggie-packed stew?"

Janet of The Taste Space brings a Smoky Tofu and Pomegranate Arugula Salad and says, "...I dare you to tell me you’ve tried something like this. Sweet and tart pomegranate arils. Smoky onion tofu bits. Crisp and cooling cucumber on a bed of baby arugula drizzled with an apple-infused creamy dressing.I was inspired by a sandwich in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! but opted for a salad version instead. A winter salad which will propel us into the springtime salads. Those plants will be growing soon enough, right? They are covered by a foot of snow, but I hope it is only melting form here on out."

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares this Red Quinoa, Kale and Haloumi Salad and says, "Let’s talk about Haloumi Cheese, shall we?  Have you tried it?  Some call it the squeaky cheese, because of the sound it makes on your teeth as you chew it. ... While we’re talking about it, I have to confess I have no clue how to spell it.  If you google it, you’ll see it spelled both Halloumi and Haloumi.  I’m not sure which one is correct!  Wikipedia says Halloumi, but Epicurious says Haloumi. Anyway, spelling aside, make this salad. It’s the perfect transition from winter to spring salad."
Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!    


  1. A nice gift, that smoked salmon and a nice chowder you made with it. You made me want to try the pairing with corn. Thanks for the lovely roundup: an interesting set of recipes, as usual.

  2. nice gift & great roundup:)

  3. Great round up! I'm jealous of you having such great neighbors!

  4. Gluten Free A-Z BlogMarch 16, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    I've never had fish in soup. Looks like an interesting idea.
    Enjoyed this weeks round up as well

  5. I am sad to say I would give you my smoked salmon but happy you would do such a lovely stew with it - I love a good barley stew!

    I am sending you an open sandwich I made for st pat's day - it is a cheesey peas on toast - hope you might enjoy it for souper sundays -


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)