Smoked Salmon Bisque

Delicious smoked salmon bisque, made with fresh salmon, smoked salmon, onions, leeks, mushrooms, garlic, clam juice, tomatoes, cream, herbs and seasonings.

Smoked Salmon Bisque
Elise Bauer

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

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 5 to 6 servings

Hot-smoked salmon has a much stronger smoky flavor than cold-smoked salmon, so I recommend using hot-smoked salmon for this recipe.


  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

  • 1/2 chopped medium yellow onion

  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks

  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 quart (32 oz) clam juice

  • 2 to 4 ounces hot smoked salmon (depending on how strong a smoked flavor you want, and how strongly smoked the salmon is), chopped

  • 2 cups canned whole or stewed tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup cream

  • 3/4 pound salmon fillet, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. Cook the onions, leeks, mushrooms, and garlic in butter:

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

  2. Add the soup base ingredients:

    Add the clam juice, smoked salmon, tomatoes (break up tomatoes while putting them in the soup), parsley, cilantro, dill, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and Old Bay seasoning (if using). Cook until heated through.

  3. Make a slurry:

    Put flour into a separate bowl. Slowly add the milk, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Mix in the cream. Stir into the soup.

  4. Stir in fresh salmon:

    Simmer for 5 more minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil after the addition of the dairy.

  5. Purée (optional):

    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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
299 Calories
18g Fat
15g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 1081mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 15mg 75%
Calcium 131mg 10%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 876mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.