1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 Yukon gold or russet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry thyme
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup half and half
Fresh dill or fresh chives, chopped for garnish
1. In a large saucepan, brown the bacon pieces over medium-low heat until crisp and brown. (If you use salmon bacon, do not cook it until brown.) Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
2. Return the saucepan to medium heat and add the leeks, celery and carrots to the warm bacon grease. Sauté 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
3. Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
4. Add cubed potatoes and corn and cook until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Stir in thyme, bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Lightly season salmon cubes with salt and pepper and add to simmering broth. Cooking, stirring gently, until salmon is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
7. Lower heat to low and add combined milk and half and half and cook just until warmed through. Do not let soup return to a simmer or the dairy will “break.”
8. Taste for seasoning, then serve warm, garnished with bacon crumbles and chopped fresh chives or fresh dill.