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As I prepared this recipe for a dinner last week, I had hoped this bisque would resemble in taste the fine bisques I enjoy at two of my favorite local establishments. It did not disappoint! My wife and I were stunned at the rich, savory flavor and smooth texture of this recipe! I couldn’t get enough of it, and will be making it again tonight! Thanks!!
So I just made this for a ladies’ luncheon. It seems a bit thin and weak. How can I correct this? More cream might thicken the bisque more but also dilute the flavor further. Perhaps I should top with some crab meat for richness?
Hi Deborah, this bisque is very similar to a classic Provencal “Soupe de Poisson”. In that dish you sprinkle slices of baguette or French bread with Gruyere cheese, and then you toast them until the cheese is melted. You put a slice of toasted cheesy bread in each bowl and ladle the soup over the bread. I also suggest adding more salt to the soup until it tastes properly seasoned. Salt will help bring out all of the flavors of the soup. Finally, make sure your saffron is aromatic. If too old or not stored well, or not good quality, you won’t get much saffron flavor out of it.
Just added some hot smoked salmon to this dish and it seemed to lift the flavour looking forward to using the left over as a sauce over a grilled fish fillet, great recipe easy to follow. Thank Hank.
How far in advance can I make the soup prior to serving it at a dinner party?
Hi Robert, I think you can safely make this soup a day in advance.
Just made this bisque – thank you for such a simple recipe which can be made after work! I flaked some fish in it as well for more texture – worked well.
Looking forward to trying this technique but with prawns/shrimp instead
I’m so glad you liked it Chrissa! Let us know how it goes if you try it with shrimp.
OMG, this was scrumptious. Just ‘cuz I love tweaking recipes, I added a finishing splash of pernod and topped the bisque with a scattering of fresh Dungeness chunks.
Your recipe was a treat, but I’m really excited about the link to shellfish stock. My previous fish stock fiasco was not inspiring.
It’s a hit! My hubby & I just finished this off and sure wish we had tried it earlier in the winter season! I used cod, clam juice as the base, and realized I didn’t have saffron. After pureeing, I added some shelled/deveined shrimp I had on hand. It was extremely good! We both loved the hint of orange zest & cayenne!
I’ll be making this many times. I’m thinking this will be my new “gift” meal with crusty bread and a bottle of wine!
I know you’re not a sommalier, but what wine would you suggest with this? Your description of sitting down to this lovely bisque with a glass of wine and some crusty bread sounded absolutely divine.
I’d recommend anything from a dry, Spanish or French rose to a white Cote du Rhone blend. You could do worse with a California Viognier, too. ~Hank
Made this recipe last night. Ended up using a half pound of tilapia and a half pound of salad shrimp.
I liked the soup, but thought that perhaps the orange was a little over powering. If I try it again, I think I’d start with the zest of 1/2 an orange.
I definitely agree on the 30 minutes cooking time, add a bit for prepping the fist two waves of ingredients.
Can this be made into a lobster bisque by replacing the white fish?
But of course! ~Hank
Do you know if saffron is easy to grow? Where do you get your saffron?
I get my saffron from the store. It is extremely difficult to grow yourself – it is the stamen of a particular type of crocus flower. ~Hank
Looks delicious. How should the fish be prepared?
Chopped roughly, tossed in the pot. ~Hank
Can I turn this into a Shrimp Bisque by subbing an equal amount of shrimp? Good, fresh fish can be hard to find in my neighborhood. But good shrimp can be a bit easier. Eager to try this one as I have four quarts of the shellfish stock in the freezer just waiting for this recipe.
I suppose. Give it a go! ~Hank
Maybe I’m being dense, but how much fish do I use and when do I add it?
When I read the introduction, I was really excited to read that some of the fish I cook with frequency here in Minnesota were actually listed by name instead of as simply “other mild white fish”. Walleye, sunnies and crappies (pronounced CRAW-pees) are fabulous fish with great flavor, but they are almost completely ignored when it comes to recipes outside of cookbooks dedicated to game, fishing or Midwestern recipes. Thanks Hank and Elise!
I’ve fixed the recipe; fish goes in with the tomatoes and garlic. And I used to live in Minnesota, so I have lotsa love for walleyes, perch and crappies! ~Hank