...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Spud Sunday: No Spud Is An Island

It’s true. No spud should have to spend its days alone.

Whether absorbed in the intimate company of its buttery best mate or plated up with a larger group of friends, the potato does what it does best when it’s part of a team.

Take the other week, when not one, but two good spud buddies showed up on the doorstep.

First there was a veritable trawler-load of Irish organic salmon from The Organic Salmon Company, a well regarded supplier of high quality salmon to well-known cheffy types and who have now taken to selling retail packs of their very lovely Atlantic salmon fillets here (available in Superquinn, I believe).

Organic Salmon

Spud's Fishy Friends

Then there was a host of creamy, dairy goodies from Yeats Country Foods. Let me just say that I am not surprised that these folks scored great taste golds for their organic soft cheese and crème fraîche. If Philadelphia is your yardstick for cream cheese, then theirs is even richer and creamier (in both colour and taste) than that. Gorgeous. Do get some to try the next time you’re in Dunnes Stores.

Yeats Country Foods

Spud's Dairy Friends

So, then, having welcomed these two visitors to my fridge, what next?

Being ever the sociable Spud, I reckoned that there was nothing else for it but to invite some other friends around and let everyone get together in a chowdery kind of way.

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Potato, Salmon And Cream Cheese Chowder

Potato, Salmon And Cream Cheese Chowder

I use the term chowder here in the sense of a milky, fishy soup.

Now, according to Wikipedia, that fount of all knowledge, dubious and otherwise, chowders are typically enriched with salt pork fatback and thickened with flour or saltine crackers, neither of which is true in this case. This chowder is none the worse for that, however, and is, I reckon, extremely likely to make a repeat appearance in my house whenever salmon and cream cheese show up together again.

You’ll need:
  • 3 smallish leeks (white and light green parts – should yield about 200g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400g potatoes (2 medium sized spuds)
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp fine salt or to taste
  • 250ml milk
  • approx. 150ml water
  • 280g salmon fillets
  • 2 tblsp chopped dill
  • 2 tblsp lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • chopped flat leaf parsley
  • lemon zest
The Steps:
  • Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks thinly and finely chop the garlic. Scrub the potatoes and, leaving the skin on, chop into approx. 1cm cubes.
  • Place a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt.
  • Add the garlic and leeks to the pan, sauté over medium low heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the potato cubes, cream cheese and salt and toss with the leeks. When the cream cheese has melted, add the milk and water, enough to just cover the veggies.
  • Increase the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, chop the salmon fillets into approx. 1cm cubes, leaving the skin on if it hasn’t already been removed.
  • When the potatoes have cooked, add the chopped dill, lemon juice, salmon pieces and a few twists of black pepper to the pot. Stir to mix and simmer very gently for 5-7 minutes or until the salmon pieces are just cooked through. The chowder will be fairly thick, so thin with additional hot water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and serve, scattered with some chopped flat leaf parsley and a little sprinkling of lemon zest.
The Variations:
  • To make something a little less rich, you can, or course, replace some or all of the milk with water and/or reduce the quantity of cream cheese.
  • You could also add other fishy things in here – I’m thinking something shrimp-like would work well.
The Results:
  • Chowder for 3-4.


  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    That looks delicious, I haven’t made a chowder for years. My son loves fish and creamy stuff so it’s exactly what he’d eat.

  2. jenn

    Hello chowdahhh… Looks really tasty. Nice touch with the salmon. I haven’t had that in any kind of soup yet.

  3. sweetlife

    wowie this looks awesome!! 3 of my favs tater, salmon and cheese..yummy


  4. Phyllis (me HUNGRY!)

    What a beautiful chowder, I’m sure it tasted wonderful with the salmon, leeks, and dill. I’ll definitely have to try this for a chowder variation – I’ve always stuck with good ol’ New England clam chowder (‘enriched’ with thick slabbed bacon of course :))

  5. ValleyWriter

    Wow – this look delicious! And I wish I could find myself some of that Yeats cheese on this side of the pond – the way you describe it, it sounds like heaven!

  6. Phoo-D

    Wow- what a beautiful and delicious dish! We’ve never made a salmon chowder, and now I can’t imagine why not. Can’t wait to try this.

  7. Daily Spud

    Sarah: …and I certainly hadn’t made chowder since, well, forever – won’t wait so long again, though!

    jenn: I typically don’t have salmon in soup either but this worked really well

    sweetlife: they make for quite a threesome :)

    Phyllis: Nothin’ wrong with New England clam chowder (in fact, I’d love to sample the real deal as far as that goes!) but I will tell you that I had some salmon chowder leftovers for dinner this evening, after which I can confirm that I will absolutely be making this again!

    ValleyWriter: it would be great if the Yeats Country folks could hit the export market – they have some lovely products!

    Phoo-D: I think you’d love it (and it would keep that soup kick going :) )

  8. The Diva on a Diet

    Oh this looks heavenly! Any kind of potato based chowder is A-ok in my book. Wow, this one looks so creamy and delightful, Spud. :)

  9. zerrin

    This is not the usual way that I cook salmon. This sounds like a perfect salmon dish. Thanks for this new recipe.

  10. Greg

    I love salmon just about any way it’s prepared but I’ve never done it in a chowder. I’m looking forward to doing it now though. Thanks!

  11. Tangled Noodle

    Sweet creamy chowder!! This is one threesome I want to join. My lonely potato had to settle for a blanket of frozen puff pastry – I’m sure it would’ve been peeved at me if we hadn’t eaten it already. Next time, I’ll be sure to invite salmon and cream cheese over!

  12. Sophie

    Oooh waw!! What lovely fish goodies!!

    Your sweet creamy chowder looks very comforting & so appetising too!

    Just what I need right now because it is snowing again here in Brussels & it is freezing -9°C!

  13. Chef E

    I can smell it, what is wrong with me…am I on the top leg of starvation? No milk or cream of any kind!

    I guess I could always go knock on the neighbors house, and smile really big, and bat my eye lashes…if I had the rest of the recipe…I ate the last three baby white potatoes for my lunch, with scallions and bacon, oh and the hot sauce hubby brought me from his last business trip.

    There is always tomorrow and hubby would love this!

  14. sippitysup

    These three “mates” do belong together. But I am here for your neeps and taters. Where did they go. Look for something with them next week on SippitySup! GREG

  15. Daily Spud

    Diva: it was a good ‘un, that’s for sure

    zerrin: you’re welcome, hope you get to try it out!

    Greg: …and thank you for dropping by, hope you enjoy

    Tangled Noodle: it’s true, potatoes are very social creatures – luckily they’ve got lots of different friends to pal around with (and your turkey pot pie didn’t sound like such a bad place for your lonely spud to end up!)

    Sophie: yikes, it’s cold here but not as cold as that – you’ll definitely be needing some chowder to warm you up :)

    Chef E: hope the weather improves enough so that you can leave the house to get the ingredients…

    sippitysup: ah, sup does neeps & tatties – I can’t wait!

  16. Cari

    Super YUM! I’ve had a lot of chowders and soups and this one is definitely going on the list to make! I would love to feature this recipe with full credits and links back to you on my site’s weekly menu! Can you please let me know at your earliest convenience? Thanks so much!

  17. Daily Spud

    Hi Cari – glad you like the look of the chowder – am happy to have you feature it.

  18. Sarah

    I have cooked this dish two times now. With my boyfriend and yesterday for my two best girlfriends. There is no way, NO WAY, to describe how well all the ingredients compliment each other. One of my friends even said that every spoonful was orgasmic. This is by FAR the best salmon dish. Ever.

  19. Daily Spud

    Wow, Sarah, thank you so much for dropping in to say that – makes me want to go and make another batch right now!

  20. Jacob

    Absolutely delicious. We are making it for the second time tonight, will let you know how round two (with shrimp as well as salmon) turns out!

  21. Daily Spud

    Thanks so much for that Jacob, very glad to hear you liked it! Am looking forward to hearing how the version with shrimp works out :)

  22. Jeanne

    This is such a fabulous soup! We made it last weekend and I’ve had it every day this week for lunch. It’s just the perfect way to enjoy salmon!

  23. Daily Spud

    Oh wow, Jeanne, that is so nice to hear! So glad you’ve been enjoying the soup.

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