Smoked Salmon Bisque

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A little trivia here. What makes a bisque a bisque and not a chowder? Both bisques and chowders are made with seafood and vegetables, with a cream base. Chowders tend to be more stew-like or chunky, and bisques puréed. Bisques are traditionally made with shellfish, though these days a puréed tomato, cream-based soup can be called a bisque too. We half-puréed this smoked salmon bisque, which accounts for the photograph. My father made this delicious soup the other day after being inspired by a bisque we had at a local bistro and wine bar. So creamy and good.

Smoked Salmon Bisque Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 5-6.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 cups thinly sliced leeks
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart (32 oz) clam juice
  • 3/4 pounds salmon fillet, chopped 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 to 4 ounces smoked salmon (depending on how strong a smoked flavor you want, and how strongly smoked the salmon is), chopped
  • 2 cups canned or stewed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method

1 Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, mushrooms, garlic and cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms have given up their moisture (7 to 10 minutes).

2 Add the clam juice, smoked salmon, tomatoes (break up tomatoes while putting them in the soup), parsley, cilantro, dill, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Old Bay seasoning; cook until heated through.

3 Put flour into a separate bowl. Slowly add the milk, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Mix in the cream. Stir cream flour mixture into the soup. Stir in fresh salmon and simmer for 5 more minutes. If you want, use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or pour some or all of the soup into a standing blender and purée. Salt to taste.

Garnish with fresh dill.

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Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • Don'Avonne

    I have to say.. I truly love this recipe.. It’s pretty easy to make.. though the shopping was a bit pricey with the smoked salmon and the fresh salmon but in the end it was all completely worth it. I’ve been so excited about the final flavors that I’ve been telling all of my friends about it. and now I have a special recipe to cook for special guest.. thank you.

  • Amy

    LOVE IT! Even my picky husband found this to be delicious!

  • Just a Plane Ride Away

    WOW–I just made this. Actually I made this yesterday for a birthday lunch today. It was SO good and very impressive :-) Mmmmmmmm. I couldn’t find clam juice (I live in England) so I substituted fish stock. It still was amazing. Many thanks to your Dad, Elise!

  • Kim

    I am one of those that could have soup every day even in the summer. My daughter and her family live in Alaska and are always in search of ways to fix Salmon. Sending this her way, thanks.

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