As a desert girl that grew up in a landlocked world, I’ve always loved fish and rain. Because of this, most of my favorite vacations have been trips to the coast. When Noel and I were first married, my parents rented a house in Manzanita, OR. We were still poor college students at the time, so we opted to join my family on a two-day road trip in their mini van. We created many fond memories as we goaded on refereed petty arguments between my twelve and fourteen-year-old brothers and had a good laugh when the ranger at Fort Clatsop thought we were lying about all being in the same vehicle just to save ourselves an entrance fee. (He completely underestimated the level of our cheapness.)

 In spite of the close quarters of our travels, the trip was quite enjoyable: runs on the beach, searching for starfish at low tide, blackberry picking, and fish dinners. On our last day, we went to the town’s quaint farmer’s market and tried to forget that we’d soon be getting back in the van and heading back to the desert and all our responsibilities. One of the vendors was selling salmon chowder and I had to get one last fish fix in. Noel and I snuggled together in the chill of a drizzle and shared a bowl as we looked out at the ocean and said our goodbyes.


I’ve been trying to recreate a soup that lives up to my memory ever since and this is the closest I’ve gotten. When I made this soup, Noel was in the middle of an elimination diet and we had been feeling somewhat deprived, but did not feel that way at all with this dinner. The potato flour and rice milk added a nice flavor, but the soup can easily be made with more typical ingredients. I used salmon that had been leftover from a previous dinner (I’d gone a little overboard since Whole Foods had it on an awesome one-day sale.), but you could easily use fresh salmon and just cook it up in the oven or on the stove before making the soup. I had meant to add celery, but forgot to buy it. It tasted great without it, but I think it’s worth trying.

Salmon Chowder

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP potato flour (or regular all-purpose)
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 C water
  • 1.5 C rice milk (or cow milk)
  • 2 red potatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 C corn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/2-1 C salmon, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 8 oz cheddar, grated
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Drizzle in water a little bit at a time while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add the milk and stir to incorporate.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, and corn and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes and carrots are easily pierced with a fork. If too much liquid boils off, you can add extra water a 1/4 C at a time.
  4. Add salmon, salt, black pepper and dill. Reduce to a simmer until the salmon has come up to temperature.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and season as necessary.
Salmon Chowder from

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