Leek and Fennel Chowder

Recipe for Category Soups & Stews

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Contributed by (Recipe adapted from “Sunset Food” at http://food.sunset.com/sunset/recipefinder.dyn)


3 lb Leeks
2 heads Fennel
3/4 C thinly sliced Chives
2 Tbs Oil
5 C Vegetable broth
1 dried Bay leaf
3 lb thin-skinned Potatoes
1 lb thin-sliced smoked Salmon (optional)
5 C Milk (dairy or non)
1/2 C Flour
About 1/2 tsp Salt
About 1/8 tsp Pepper


Trim and discard root ends and coarse tops from leeks. Separate, rinse, and then thinly slice crosswise. Rinse fennel. Trim off and discard root ends and stalks and finely chop feathery leaves to make 3 tablespoons. In a bowl, mix chopped greens with chives, cover and chill. Chop fennel heads. In a 6- to 8-quart pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add leeks and chopped fennel heads, cover, and stir occasionally until vegetables are very limp, 10 to 12 minutes. Add broth and bay leaf to pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cut potatoes into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Add potatoes to broth mixture and return to a simmer, reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut salmon (if using) into strips 2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, put in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add to potato-broth mixture and stir over high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with reserved fennel sprigs. Offer with smoked salmon and chive mixture to add to taste.

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