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
- 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
- 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 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Pinch black pepper
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup milk
- Salt to taste
Cook onions, leeks, mushrooms garlic in butter:
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).
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.
Make a slurry with flour, milk, cream:
Put flour into a separate bowl. Slowly add the milk, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Mix in the cream. Stir cream flour slurry 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.