Smoked Salmon Chowder



1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and sliced (about 3 cups)
2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
½ cup chopped celery heart, including leaves
¾ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups milk (any fat content, I used whole milk)
8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked (Not the lox style salmon. Use the thicker filet looking salmon)
¾ cup heavy cream
Fresh chives, chopped for garnish, optional
Extra fresh ground pepper for garnish