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Salmon and Parsnip Chowder - A Family Feast

Salmon and Parsnip Chowder

Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Prep: 30 minsCook: 30 minsTotal: 1 hour


  • 1 pound Yukon gold or any yellow potato peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound pancetta diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ cup leeks, white part only, cleaned of all sand and diced
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped or half that of dried
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour divided
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice (1 cup)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh salmon cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 6 ounces sliced smoked salmon (optional)


  1. Place the potatoes and the parsnips in a bowl and cover with cold water. Do not discard the water.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, sauté pancetta in olive oil over medium heat until browned and crispy, about ten minutes. Add leeks, onions, thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Cook over medium to medium high heat for three minutes. Add one tablespoon of flour and cook for one minute.
  3. Add clam juice and stir. Then add all of stock and measure out and add one cup of the water that the parsnips and potatoes have been sitting in. Stir to combine.
  4. Save the rest of the potato water in case you like the chowder thinner, otherwise discard rest of water. Add the potatoes and parsnips to the pot and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in a small pan and once melted, add remaining two tablespoons of flour. Cook over medium heat for about three to five minutes or until the mixture no longer smells raw. (This is called a roux and should smell like cooked chestnuts when done. The longer you cook a roux, the darker the sauce or soup will be.) Set aside.
  6. Once vegetables are tender, add the roux and stir to thicken. Then add milk and cream and bring only to hot and not boiling so the cream does not separate. Add in the raw cubed salmon and just bring to serving temperature and remove from heat. Try not to break up the salmon as you stir. If you prefer thinner chowder, add a little more of the potato water and heat to serving temperature.
  7. To serve, top each bowl with smoked salmon (optional).

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