This Easy Salmon Soup is made with fresh salmon, fennel, leeks, and shitake mushrooms. It’s unbelievably good, and good for your your body! Everyone who has ever tried it raves about its lovely, nourishing flavor.
A Light, Elegant Soup That’s Packed with Superfoods!
Everyone knows that salmon is a superfood, but have you tried it poached? I love poached salmon so much that it became the base for this easy spring-like soup. Fragrant fennel, leeks, celery, and carrots give the soup so much great veggie power, and give the broth an elegant touch.
The salmon itself cooks to perfection this way, making a tender, flavorful, and healthy “star of the show.” I’ve served this dish at dinner parties – that’s how good it is! And guests always love it. Try it, and it might just become your new favorite way of cooking salmon.
How Often Should You Eat Salmon?
The basic recommendation, health-wise, is to eat two or three servings of seafood per week: think shellfish, white fish, and yes, salmon. That comes out to somewhere between 8 and 12 ounces of seafood. Salmon is a fantastic choice for hitting that goal, because it’s easy to cook, easy to find (fresh or frozen), and packs a punch of Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
I’ve already mentioned some of the wholesome, natural ingredients in this easy salmon soup. This list will give you a bird’s eye view of all of the ingredients you’ll need. Sound good? Great! Here we go:
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is great for a dairy-free soup. Unsalted butter would also be great.
- Veggies: Leeks, fennel, carrots, and celery, sliced and diced.
- Salt and Pepper
- Mushrooms: Sliced shiitake mushrooms.
- Broth: Vegetable broth is my go-to for this recipe.
- Herbs: Parsley and thyme. I like to use fresh, chopped herbs, but dried would work as well.
- Salmon: Cube the salmon into 1 1/2 inch chunks.
- Parmesan: Finely grated Parmesan is optional, but adds a nice touch.
- Spinach: I prefer baby spinach when available.
Should You Eat Salmon Skin?
You can eat salmon skin, but whether or not you should kind of depends. If you’re using good-quality, wild-caught salmon and you’re not concerned about pollution or other contaminants, feel free to eat the skin. It can be great when cooked crispy in a skillet. If you’re not sure about your salmon’s quality, you may want to remove the skin. I like to remove it in this soup, since it wouldn’t be crispy anyway.
How to Make This Easy Salmon Soup
Making the soup is very, very easy. That’s one reason I like to serve it when I’m entertaining – not much can go wrong! Here’s how to do it.
- Saute the Vegetables. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Then add your veggies, salt, and pepper, and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to wilt and soften a little.
- Add the Liquid. Next, pour the vegetable broth and water over the vegetables, and bring to a low boil/simmer. Once it starts to bubble a little, lower the heat to low.
- Add the Mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms into the soup, and let them cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring now and then.
- Finish the Soup. Last, add your salmon and spinach to the pot. Stir them around to help the spinach wilt and submerge into the soup broth. Take the pot off of the heat, cover it, and let it sit for about five minutes to wilt the salmon all the way and cook the salmon through.
- Enjoy! Serve the soup in bowls with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Some of the ingredients in this salmon soup recipe can be a little finicky to work with, so I’m sharing all of my best tips. From salmon to shiitake, here we go!
- Salmon: Use fresh or frozen salmon, whatever you have on hand. (Pro tip: frozen salmon can often be just as good, if not better, than salmon you buy from behind a seafood counter.) If you go with frozen, make sure to thaw the salmon out in your fridge before you cook it in the soup.
- Fennel: Fennel is somewhat like onion, and you use the bulb of it, similar to an onion. Cut away the stalks – they are tough and hard to eat. If your fennel has discolored spots on it, you can either remove the outer layers of the fennel, or cut away the discolored spots with a knife.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Dried or fresh, both are great. If you use dried mushrooms, you don’t have to reconstitute them with water for this recipe. The mushrooms will soften up in the soup. It’s also fine to use other kinds of mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms or button mushrooms.
- Leeks: Cleaning leeks is extra-important. Yes, you want to clean all of your veggies! But leeks can be especially gritty and dirty. A fail-proof way to clean leeks is to slice and dice them up, throw them in a fine mesh sieve, and rinse them really well with running water. Then dry on paper towels, and they’re good to go.
- Spinach: Baby spinach is usually fine to use without trimming it, but if you have regular spinach, you may want to pull the stems off or chop the spinach.
Yummy Serving Suggestions
To serve, I like to add a nice light salad. Poached salmon soup also great as a starting course for a larger dinner. Any one of these main courses would go wonderfully with it:
- Roasted Chicken: For a special take on classic roasted chicken, try this Pan Roasted Chicken with Apple Fennel Slaw. The fennel in the soup leads nicely to the fennel in this hearty, savory main course.
- Beef and Mushrooms: Salmon is a nice, light fish while still being nourishing. Serving it as a soup course before a main course of Farro Beef Mushroom Asparagus Marinara would create a lovely, filling, comforting meal!
- Stuffed Chicken Breast: Another great recipe for a dinner party, this Stuffed Chicken Breast has crispy breading and a gourmet mushroom sauce. It’s also easy to make, just like this salmon soup.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Salmon Soup
Poached salmon soup can be refrigerated for about two days. Make sure to store it in airtight containers to keep it as fresh as possible.
To reheat, just place the desired amount on the stove over low to medium heat. Gently heat the soup until it’s nice and hot, but don’t overcook it or the salmon will be dry and unpleasant to eat.
Can I Freeze This?
I would not choose to freeze this soup, because the textures here are very delicate and show their true flavors best when used fresh.
Easy Salmon Soup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 1 leek sliced and diced
- 1 small fennel bulb sliced and diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 celery ribs sliced and diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme chopped
- 1 pound salmon cubed into 1 1/2″ chunks
- 4 tablespoons parmesan finely grated, optional
- 3 ounces spinach about one bunch, I prefer baby spinach when available
- In large dutch oven or heavy deep pot, melt butter over medium high heat
- Add carrots, celery, fennel, leeks, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to coat.
- Stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until vegetables start to wilt a bit.
- Add vegetable stock and water.
- Bring to a low boil, as soon as you see the bubbles, lower heat to low.
- Stir in mushrooms and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Add salmon and spinach to pot and stir to submerge
- Remove pot from heat and cover for about 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and your salmon chunks are cooked through.
- Place soup in bowl and sprinkle parmesan cheese.