When I first started posting soup recipes on Saturday, I promised to try to follow a kind of rotation. I quickly realized that I would need to keep track of which recipes I had posted. Whew! I've made more work for myself on these blogs than I intended--but, being an organized person, I made a list that I add to each week, and save. So come Saturday, I check the list, make sure I haven't already posted the particular recipe, or make sure my soup choice isn't too close to last week's.
I see that I have not yet posted a recipe with fish as the main ingredient. This soup, Salmon Potato Chowder, is just plain yummy. It features an unusual ingredient--one that I had not used ever before making the soup--fennel bulbs.
On the The World's Healthiest Foods website, the description of fennel is most interesting. Here is a small portion:
Fennel is a versatile vegetable that plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy. Its esteemed reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.Fennel's aromatic taste is unique, strikingly reminiscent of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace. Fennel's texture is similar to that of celery, having a crunchy and striated texture.
SALMON POTATO CHOWDER
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 fresh fennel bulb, chopped
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
6 medium red-skinned potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock or clam juice
1 cup tomato juice or V-8
2 lbs. fresh salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and fennel and sweat 4 minutes, until tender.
Add thyme, fennel seeds, bay leaves, and stir to coat the vegetables.
Add potatoes, stock and tomato juice and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves from pot.
Add salmon. Remove pot from heat as we do not want to overcook salmon. It will start to cook as soon as it hits the hot soup mixture.
Stir in heavy cream and fresh tarragon.