This creamy smoked trout chowder recipe is perfect for a cold fall night. Smoked trout has so much flavor that this chowder doesn’t require much else.
When we lived in Brooklyn, we used to go to a restaurant near our apartment, Pizza Moto, and we used to eat their smoked trout Caesar salad. That was my first introduction to smoked trout so when I saw it on sale at my local grocery store, I decided to indulge and buy up a couple packs. Instead of a salad, I landed on this creamy smoked trout chowder recipe which is so ridiculously easy to prepare and rich with flavor. The smoked trout carries so much flavor that you hardly need much else in this soup in terms of aromatics.
How to Make this Creamy Smoked Trout Chowder:
This recipe is extremely easy to make. It’ll take about an hour total, but 20-30 minutes are inactive, so go have a drink, watch an episode on Netflix, or just chill out on the couch for a bit.
Really, you just sauté aromatics, add liquid, potatoes, and spice and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Flake in the smoked trout toward the end of cooking and add heavy cream.
A few tips to get the most flavor in this recipe:
Celery leaves! I know it’s tempting to cut the tops off the celery, but don’t! Just chop away and throw those leaves right into the pot when you sauté the celery. The leaves have a wonderful hint of celery and add even more flavor to your aromatics.
You’re going to want to brown the celery and onions for a solid 10 minutes. A nice golden brown crust will form on them as they cook. That means you don’t want to add the garlic in right away. Add it at the very end and only allow it to have contact with the hot pan for less than a minute before you add in the stock. This prevents it from burning!
One note is to watch how much salt you use in this smoked trout chowder. Smoked trout is very high in sodium, so I would recommend using a no-salt chicken stock and salting the vegetables very, very lightly if at all. Generally, I feel a strong urge to especially salt potatoes, but I actually skipped it and was so glad I did!
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Creamy Smoked Trout Chowder
- Soup pot
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery with leaves, finely chopped
- 1-2 hot cherry peppers or Fresno chilis optional, or use crushed red pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 cups no-sodium chicken stock
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes
- 16 ounces smoked trout fillets
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- A few shakes of paprika
- Chopped fresh chives optional
- Warm crusty bread
- Peel and small dice the onion. Dice the celery and mince the celery leaves. Trim and mince the peppers, if using. Peel and mince the garlic. Scrub the potatoes and dice into 1” pieces. Remove the skin from the smoked trout fillets and discard. Flake the fillets into bite-size pieces.
Cook the Vegetables:
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and celery (with leaves) and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened and beginning to turn deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper and garlic and cook an additional 45 seconds until fragrant.
Start the Chowder:
- Pour the stock into the pot and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add the potatoes, whole thyme sprigs, and a few shakes of paprika, if desired. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. If the potatoes absorb too much liquid or it seems like there’s not enough broth, add a bit more water in half cup increments.
Finish the Chowder:
- Add the flaked trout and heavy cream and cook for 5-6 minutes or until warmed through. Taste and season to your preferences, adding salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, or paprika as desired. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
To Serve the Creamy Smoked Trout Chowder:
- Ladle the trout chowder into bowls and garnish with chives and a shake of paprika on each dish, if desired. Serve with warm bread.