Make this easy salmon chowder with canned salmon and canned cannellini beans. Salmon chunks are mixed with vegetables and beans in a creamy but dairy free broth. This simple to make soup provides lots of flavor with little effort.
Soups and chowders are one of my favorite simple meals. They are all about combining what you have in the your pantry or refrigerator into something that is warm and filling.
Soup vs Chowder
What is the difference between a soup and a chowder? A chowder is just a thick and creamy soup. Chowders use something to thicken the broth – like flour, cornstarch, potatoes or beans.
Chowders are most commonly made with some kind of seafood, like clam chowder, or vegetables like potatoes or corn. They are kind of a middle ground between a soup and stew.
This chowder uses only a few simple ingredients. It is a soup you can make with basic pantry ingredients.
Vegetables – I used onions, carrots and celery. I used fresh vegetables, but you could substitute canned or frozen if you like. You can also change up the vegetables and just use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand.
Beans – Cannellini beans add fiber and make the soup more filling. They also thicken the soup, as they are blended with the broth to make it creamy.
Stock – Vegetable stock or fish stock is a good choice for this soup. You can also use chicken broth if you don’t mind using animal products.
Salmon – Canned salmon is quick and easy to use. If you buy salmon that has bones in it make sure you debone it! I used flaked pink salmon in this recipe, but chunky salmon would give the soup a little more texture.
Pink salmon has a milder taste than red salmon and is usually sold boneless and skinless. Red salmon is from a different species of salmon and has more fat, calories and therefore a richer flavor.
It is also frequently sold with skin and bones, which makes it less convenient and is why I don’t usually use it. But either pink or red salmon will work fine in this recipe. Wild salmon is more nutritious, so buy it if you can.
How to Make Salmon Chowder
1. Saute Vegetables
Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add when it is hot add some olive oil. Then add the onions, carrots and celery and let them cook for about five minutes, stirring occassionally.
2. Simmer the Soup
After five minutes add the garlic, beans, stock, water and salt to the sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Don’t add the salmon!
3. Thicken the Soup
Take a ladle and remove about 2 cups of the soup. I ladle it right into a measuring cup. Then puree the remaining soup in the sauce pan.
If you have an immersion blender that is the easiest way to puree the soup. I don’t have one, so I pour the mixture into my blender and mix it there. A food processor will also work.
4. Add the Salmon
Pour the blended soup and the reserved 2 cups of chunky soup back into the sauce pan. Stir it together and add the drained salmon. Debone the salmon if necessary before adding it! Let it heat for 2 or 3 minutes and then take off the heat.
You could substitute a different kind of canned seafood, like shrimp or tuna for the salmon. Another easy variation would be to add potatoes to the vegetables. This would thicken up the soup even more thank just using beans.
What to Serve With Salmon Chowder
I like to serve this chowder with some kind of crusty bread, like garlic bread or savory scones. You can also just top it with croutons if you are looking for a simple supper.
Like most soups this tastes best after it cools down for about 5-10 minutes. It is delicious topped off with some black pepper or fresh herbs like parsely or dill.
This is a light meal that is still warm and comforting. It is a great meatless soup recipe for enjoying during Lent or any time you want a simple seafood dinner or lunch.
Find More Soup Recipes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 can cannellini beans (15 ounce cans) drained
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans salmon (4 ounce cans) drained and deboned
- In a large saucepan heat the olive oil on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks
- Add the garlic, drained beans, water, stock and salt. Stir to combine. Mix well and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes.2 cloves garlic, 2 can cannellini beans (15 ounce cans), 2 cups vegetable stock, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt
- Take about 2 cups of the soup out and set it aside. Blend the remaining soup, either with an immersion blender or by putting in a blender.
- Pour the reserved soup and the blended soup back into the saucepan. Add the canned salmon. Cook for about 2 minutes to heat through.2 cans salmon (4 ounce cans)
- Garnish with pepper, croutons or parsley.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.