This delicious steelhead potato chowder with bacon is a cross between a fish-and-chips dinner and a loaded potato soup. It’s creamy yet gluten-and-dairy-free. It’s a wonderful mix of flavors, including our leftover almond-crusted steelhead or salmon.
Salmon vs. Steelhead Trout
This is the third of three dinners based on the almond-crusted steelhead. Cook once, eat thrice, I say! At least for the fish portion.
For this recipe, unlike with the almond-crusted salmon or steelhead tacos, the fish doesn’t need to be crisp. The almond flour crust will soften in the refrigerator, then in the soup, but the flavor is still great in the mix.
You stir in most of the steelhead during the last simmer for flavor. Then, just before serving, garnish with a few beautiful pieces you have left and top with crispy bacon and fresh herbs.
A potato-leek chowder base
I love chowders that are based on leeks and potatoes. You can substitute onions or shallots for the leeks depending on what you have on hand, of course. Other than the celery, these are the only ingredients that have to be fresh, so this is a little bit of a clean-out-the-fridge sort of soup. I usually have some spinach and corn in the freezer.
The base of the soup is mostly the potatoes themselves. The key to the soup’s flavor is that the potatoes are coated with olive oil, then roasted before they go into the soup. That makes it a perfect soup for leftovers in addition to the spinach and corn.
Coconut milk gives the soup the creaminess that dairy cream might otherwise provide. You could sub almond milk if you prefer it. And of course coconut cream would be decadent!
Is it important to use organic potatoes?
As conventional potatoes are listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list for high amounts of pesticide residues, I always use organic.
The color of the soup will depend on the potatoes you choose, but I like the thin-skinned potatoes best. I have suggested Yukon golds but red or white potatoes, or a combination, will be great too.
Herbs and garnishes
As far as herbs, I use whatever I have fresh in my yard when available. In the warmer seasons that means thyme and chives. But rosemary would be classic in a chowder like this. Dried herbs are delicious if that is what you have.
We enjoy this soup with some gluten-free rolls we can find at Natural Grocers, often the Udi’s brand – but the soup is quite filling without them.
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please let me know in the comments!
Other delicious soups on A Meal In Mind:
Shop steelhead potato chowder with bacon
My favorite small kitchen appliance is the Cuisinart Stick Blender. I use it any time I’m pureeing a soup or sauce. Lightweight, easy to assemble and to clean.
My favorite olive oil is the California Olive Ranch oil. Great flavor and I know it’s certified.
I use Redmond pink sea salt for almost all my cooking because I enjoy the taste and because it contains minerals other than sodium, thus the pink color.
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Steelhead Potato Chowder with Bacon
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes organic, washed, roasted with olive oil and diced, see instructions
- 5-6 slices bacon cooked until crisp and drained of fat (reserve some fat in the pan if desired, see note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil optional if using leftover bacon fat
- 2 leeks cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable broth or to preference
- 1 tablespoonful of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
- 1 tablespoonful fresh garden chives chopped fine
- 1/2 cup corn frozen works fine
- 1/2 cup spinach coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups almond-crusted salmon or steelhead pieces divided
- fresh thyme or fresh garden chives chopped fine, for garnish
- Use leftover roasted thin-skinned potatoes for this soup. If you don't have leftovers, use this method. Wash the potatoes well and blot dry. Coat with olive oil. Roast uncovered at 425 degrees F for about 45 minutes, according to your oven and the size of the potatoes. Potatoes should be just tender in the center when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool enough to handle, then dice.
- Cook the bacon until the desired crispness. Tip: I often will cook the bacon in a pan on the stovetop until it is almost as crisp as I want, then transfer it to an oven-proof plate between layers of paper towels. Bake at 300 degrees F until it is as crisp as you like. The paper towels will absorb the extra bacon fat.
- Heat bacon fat or olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery and stir for 5-6 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 more minute until fragrant. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the diced potatoes and herbs and return to a simmer. Cook until the celery is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Use stick blender to puree the soup to the chunkiness you desire. We like it fairly smooth. (If you prefer your spinach chopped fairly fine, add it to the soup before pureeing it.)
- Stir in the spinach, corn, coconut milk, salt, pepper and about 1 cup of the fish. Simmer about 10 minutes or until flavors have blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Ladle the soup into bowls.
- Garnish with remaining salmon pieces, bacon and herbs.
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