Well, we're in the middle of an ice storm, and not sure we're going to make it to work today. So I decided to clean out the 'fridge. (don't have a heart attack, Mom, I do it all the time.) In preparation for that, I mentally took inventory yesterday, so I could do the appropriate shopping last night to use up what needed to be used. This is what I did to clean out the veggie drawer and use the rest of that amazing smoked salmon.
Chowders are an incredible way to use up all sorts of stuff, and it's a chowder as long as you use onions, celery and potatoes. Oh, and milk. Not heavy cream, milk. This is not a bisque, people. Personally I think that chowder without bacon is a sin, but I think most things without bacon are just wrong. In 42 minutes (yeah, I timed it. The Man is baffled by how quickly I can get things cooked, so I've started timing everything for entertainment value.)
Diced bacon, onions and celery go in to the bottom of a heavy pot with a bit of butter over medium heat. I have to use the butter because the apple wood bacon that I get is on the lean side and doesn't render enough fat. When the bacon is crisping and the veggies are browning, add a good dose of salt and pepper, chopped herbs of your choice (Simon and Garfunkel in this one) and lots of diced potatoes. I used russets, and leave the skin on! Let that go for just a bit, then add some chicken stock to just cover everything (or vegetable stock, or fish stock), scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add good full fat milk to make it a soup. Let that simmer (never boil, you'll break the milk) for a few minutes, then add the smoked salmon broken up into big chunks. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret. I like a bit of body in my chowder, but hate to add flour. So I use potato flakes. Bob's Red Mill makes a great instant potato flake that is actually that, all potato. I add about a half cup to a pot of soup, and it gives it a little thicker, a little silkier texture that I find very pleasing. Let that cook another couple of minutes, adjust the seasoning and serve. Once again, I am truly a kitchen witch, able to produce incredible yumminess in no time flat. Reputation saved, my work here is done.