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 cup thinly sliced leeks

  • 1/2 chopped medium yellow onion

  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 quart (32 oz) clam juice

  • 3/4 pounds salmon fillet, chopped 1/2 inch cubes

  • 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

  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1 cup milk

  • Kosher salt to taste


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

    Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, mushrooms, 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, red pepper flakes, and Old Bay seasoning. 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)
420 Calories
31g Fat
16g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 420
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 1091mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 15mg 77%
Calcium 152mg 12%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 905mg 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.