Trout, Bacon, & Corn Chowder
You go to a local restaurant that’s famous for a particular dish. You order said dish. And your server replies with, “Sorry, but we’re out of that today.”
It’s the worst…
So last week when The Fam and I headed to a local spot for some trout and salmon chowder, only to be met with, “Sorry, we’re all sold out”, it was a sad, sad day. And all I could think about was that I’d probably missed out on the best soup of my life.
But then, our son was invited to go trout fishing on the very last day of the trout fishing season. He caught several rainbow trout and lake trout (out of the pristine waters of Lake Superior)!!!
I instantly knew what I’d do with those wild-caught fish… And since bacon makes just about everything better, it, of course, found its way into this Trout, Corn, and Bacon Chowder.
My family agreed: this might be one of the best soups I’ve ever made! Our son was pretty proud of himself for catching dinner!
Trout, Corn, & Bacon Chowder
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 8 ounces nitrate-free bacon or bacon ends and pieces, diced
- 2 large yellow onions, finely diced
- 6 stalks celery, diced
- 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 8 ounces organic frozen corn
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- salt to taste (I used nearly 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds fresh lake or rainbow trout, deboned, skinned, and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried dill
Here’s how you do it:
In a medium bowl, combine milk, cream, and arrowroot powder and whisk well. Set aside.
Heat a 7-quart stock pot or cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove. Add diced bacon pieces. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until fat begins to render out.
Then add diced onions and celery. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes.
Add diced potatoes and frozen corn and stir to combine. Then pour in 2 quarts of chicken broth.
Add Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt (start with 1 tablespoon), paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are fork tender, stir in the milk/cream/arrowroot mixture. Bring back to a simmer and stir while it thickens slightly.
Add in the fish pieces and stir very gently to submerge them in the soup, where they will slowly cook.
Finally, gently stir in chopped parsley and dill. Serve and enjoy!
— This recipe makes a full 7 quarts of chowder — A LOT! I rely on leftovers, so that’s why I make so much. If that’s too much for you, cut the recipe in half.
— Salt. You’re going to need a lot of it. I used nearly 2 tablespoons and we still salted at the table. The broth, cream/milk, and potatoes require lots of salt for best flavor. Just keep tasting it until it’s right for you.
— I use the Beeler’s brand of bacon ends and pieces for soup. There is much more fat than regular bacon, and when it renders out, it’s perfect for sautéing veggies and infusing soups with that smokey bacon flavor!
— Don’t have any fresh, locally caught trout? Use wild-caught cod or another mild white fish instead!
— Once the fish is added, don’t stir much or the fish will break apart. You want your chowder to have nice chunks of that lovely fish!