Smoky, creamy and hearty, this soup feels slightly luxurious. Basics from any market or well stocked home kitchen make it come together in a snap. And because we ALWAYS order too much lox at the deli, I have random slices tucked away in the freezer. You should too!

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 potato (12 oz) diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dry thyme leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 10 oz lox, roughly chopped – sometimes you can buy scrap at the deli
  • 1 pound cod, diced to bite size (tilapia or white fish work too!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion or chive
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Heat a 4 quart sauce pan over medium and melt the butter. Add the carrot, celery and onion and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and mix in – this creates the roux right in the pan. Stir for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Add the water and milk, stirring up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Stir in the potato, bay leaf and thyme. Season with pepper and very lightly with salt. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the potato is tender. Stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure that nothing gets stuck.
  3. Taste a potato cube to make sure it is cooked. If it is, stir in the heavy cream and cream cheese until melted, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the lox and cod – they will cook in about 2 minutes. Add the scallion and taste for seasoning – it might need more salt depending on the lox you used. Add salt, if needed, and some more black pepper or even a few shakes of hot sauce. You can add more water or milk if the soup is too thick.

We like to eat this soup with oyster crackers, or, even better, bagel chips! It brings all the deli goodness full circle.

A few words about lox – Nova is least salt, belly is most. Hot smoked salmon is not lox, but delicious in its own right and would also be very yummy in this soup.