Pacific Coast Chowder: A Northwest Twist on a Classic

The Pacific Northwest is a land of bountiful seafood and lush forests. This unique chowder celebrates that abundance with creamy richness, the sweetness of smoked salmon candy, and the earthy goodness of foraged mushrooms. It’s a taste of the coast in every spoonful!


  • 4-6 ounces smoked salmon candy, flaked or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound foraged mushrooms (chanterelle, hedgehog, morel, etc.), cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • (2) 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Sauté aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Cook Mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their liquid and start to brown slightly, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Build the Creamy Base: Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, creating a roux. Gradually whisk in the broth and clam juice until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add Potatoes & Flavorings: Stir in the potatoes, dill, thyme, bay leaf, and smoked salmon candy. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Finish with Cream: Stir in the heavy cream and cook until heated through. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh dill. Enjoy!


  • If the chowder seems too thick, thin it out with a bit more broth or clam juice.
  • For extra richness, substitute a small portion of the heavy cream with sour cream.
  • Serve with crusty bread for dipping!

Notes on Foraging:

  • If you’re not familiar with foraging for edible mushrooms, replace them with cultivated varieties available at your grocery store.
  • Always consult a reliable guide and expert advice before consuming any wild mushrooms.

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