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
- 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
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.
Yield: Serves 5-6.