Though the authors of Almost Meatless call this soup a chowder, it's got more in common with the Scottish classic, cullen skink, also made with milk, potatoes, and smoked fish.
The bold flavor of smoked trout means you can use relatively little and still produce a savory, delicious soup. Because the recipe uses whole milk instead of cream, the dish is full-bodied but not excessively rich.
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- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 pound hot- or cold-smoked trout, broken into chunks
- 3 cups whole milk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Chowder crackers
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 7 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes and water, bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the trout to the pot along with the milk. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes (do not boil).
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle in the bowls, sprinkle with chopped chives, and serve with chowder crackers.