Creamy, Dairy-free Salmon Chowder: celeriac, parsnips, tarragon






I can’t believe Christmas is over already!  The twinkling lights are already dwindling, shopping sales are in full swing, and New Years hype has begun. This year was a bittersweet sort of Christmas: my husband and I’s last Christmas with just the three of us (can’t forget Harvey!).  I’m always so sad when Christmas has passed; it is by far my favorite holiday! So before we jump into 2015, I have one more recipe to share: our Christmas Eve, dairy-free, salmon chowder with celeriac (a.k.a. celery root), parsnips, leeks, and tarragon.  

dairy free salmon chowder with celery root, parsnips, leeks and tarragon

Christmas Eve dinners have become sort of an easy, throw-together meal in preparation for the food marathon the next day.  When I was younger, I don’t even think my parents cooked the night before Christmas, at least not that I can remember. I do remember we were allowed to leave Santa cookies, even though we ourselves weren’t allowed to eat them!  Now that its just my husband, our dog and I, we are beginning to make our own traditions, and a light seafood supper has become one of them.  Last year, we went over to my in-laws house with 25 of our closest family and friends.  For the occasion, I made a poached salmon nicoise salad and it was gobbled up quicker than I could guzzle down my spiked egg nog. 

This year, I kept with the seafood tradition and went with a creamy chowder: a celeriac, parsnip, and salmon chowder with tarragon.  I know this is a step outside of Love & Garnish’s veggies comfort zone, but by using cashew cream instead of heavy cream, we eliminate a lot of the unnecessary animal fat.  And you know what?! No one at the table even noticed that I used a dairy substitute instead of heavy cream!  The abundance of veggies in this chowder is no coincidence either.  I find the celeriac and parsnips add such a beautiful, bold flavor and texture, while the tarragon is a must with the salmon!  Serve this chowder with fresh rye or pumpernickel bread and a crisp fennel, grapefruit, pumpkin seed and spinach/arugula salad and your good to go for an easy dinner.  

dairy free salmon chowder with celeriac, parsnips, leek and tarragon


dairy free salmon chowder with celery root, parsnips, leeks, tarragon

dairy free salmon chowder with celeriac/celery root, parsnips, leeks, and tarragon


Although my favorite holiday has passed, I am so excited to see what 2015 brings for our family and what the roles of “mum” and “dad” have in store for us.   As our smaller group of parents and siblings sat down for Christmas Eve dinner this year, special memories were made around this chowder.  I hope you find the same!

Happy New Year to you and yours! 






Creamy, Dairy-Free Salmon Chowder: celeriac, parsnips, tarragon
Serves 6
Write a review
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 5 cups chopped leeks (approximately 2 large leeks)
  2. 1 cup diced carrots (approximately 2 carrots)
  3. 1 cup diced celery (approximately 2 celery stalks)
  4. 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  5. 4 1/2 cups chopped celery root (approximatley 2 medium celery root)
  6. 2 cups chopped parsnips (approximately 4 parsnips)
  7. 4 cups clam juice
  8. 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 2 lbs salmon, bones and skin removed, cut into large chunks
  11. 1 1/2 cups cashew cream*
  12. 2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
  13. 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  14. juice from half a lemon
  15. salt + pepper to taste
  16. 1 cup watercress, to garnish, optional
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add leeks, carrots, celery, and coconut oil. Heat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add celery root, parsnips, clam juice, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add salmon, cashew cream, tarragon, and parsley. Simmer over low, being careful not to bring to a boil, until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and season to taste. Garnish with fresh watercress and serve immediately.
  1. *To make cashew cream, soak 2 cups raw cashews (can not be salted or roasted) with pure, filtered water overnight. In the morning, drain the cashews, rinse thoroughly under cold water, and transfer to a high-speed blender. Add just enough water to cover and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add a pinch of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of maple syrup. If you are not using a high-speed blender like a Vita-Mix which creates an extra smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve. This will yield roughly 2 cups of cashew cream. { Recipe for cashew cream adapted from Tal Ronnen, "The Conscious Cook". }
  2. Chowder Recipe Inspired by Diane Morgan, "Salmon".
Love & Garnish — A Nourishing Kitchen




  • Millie | Add A Little - Mmm this sounds amazing Anise! Hope you had a wonderful christmas! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche - This salmon chowder is seriously all I am craving right now. It’s hard to believe that it’s dairy free.. as it looks so creamy!ReplyCancel

  • Pang @circahappy - Your DF GF chowder on IG made me drooled & wondered; so here I am, checking out your recipe. 🙂

    This is such a wonderful recipe that I am surely going to make again & again. I love your substitute, and that means I can have it more often. 🙂

    Wonderful photos & recipe, Anise 🙂

    Happy New Year.ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Thanks Pang! So glad you wondered over to my blog from IG! Were you able to give it a try?! Would love to know how you liked it!ReplyCancel

  • Phil - Looks so good and something I want to try myself …ReplyCancel

  • Lenka - I made this as one of several dishes for a big new years dinner and it was a big success! Fortunately there were leftovers and we enjoyed having some left yesterday. Now we’re heating up the last bit as a pasta sauce… yum, so tasty and creamy!ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Pasta sauce! Interesting! So excited to hear it was a success! I LOVE this recipe as well and always get bowls going back for seconds off this one!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - This is a gorgeous recipe..Thank you..I will be making it for our Christmas Eve dinner..right after snow shoeing..I am certain it will be delicious and comforting!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *