American Spoon

Smoked Whitefish Chowder

Irresistible aromas. Layers of flavor. An array of textures. American Spoon’s chef Chris Dettmer reveals secrets of soups that will make any meal warm, soulful and deliciously unforgettable. (Click for cooking tips and techniques.)

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For the Soup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup bacon
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery root, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups smoked whitefish, skin and bones removed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • Lemon juice and salt to taste
To Finish
  • 4 pieces bacon, cooked till crispy
  • 1 cup potato, cut in a large dice
  • 1 cup celery root, cut in a large dice
  • 1 cup smoked whitefish, skin and bones, removed in bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced thin
  • Parsley leaves
  • Celery leaves


Add the oil, crushed red pepper, and bacon and cook over medium flame until the bacon starts to render its fat. Add the celery, celery root, carrot, potato, and onion. Season with a pinch of salt and cook covered for 15 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the smoked fish, cream, and milk. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Place soup in blender and process till smooth. Pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer and season with lemon juice and salt. Place the diced potato and celery root in a pot of salted water and simmer till tender. Divide all finish ingredients into the bowls. Heat the soup and serve.