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Salmon Bisque: A Fantastic and Easy Bisque Recipe

Seafood Soups

I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’ve probably never had a salmon bisque. It’s a bit of an unusual seafood soup recipe. You don’t see fish bisque recipes very often, if at all.

But salmon makes a fantastic bisque. And, as opposed to lobster bisque, you can make it in a fraction of the time, making it a surprisingly easy salmon soup recipe.

salmon bisque

Now it should be mentioned that a true bisque is made with shellfish and not fish (or god forbid, tomatoes). It’s actually the shells of shellfish which are the key ingredient. When simmered in water with aromatics and other herbs and vegetables, they make a rich, luscious, and deeply flavored stock. That’s why you’ll find so many lobster bisque, crab bisque, and shrimp bisque recipes.

Fish broth, wonderful as it is in many fish soups, chowders, and stews, is just not flavorful enough for a bisque. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a great salmon bisque recipe. Salmon, in particular, with its unique, almost shellfish-like flavor, when paired with a rich shellfish stock and/or clam juice can make an incredible salmon bisque!

4 Reasons to Make Salmon Bisque

1. It’s a lot easier than lobster bisque

Lobster bisque is rarely made by home cooks because it’s just too time-intensive. You have to cook the lobsters first, cool them down, then crack them open and pick out the meats (which can be tiring and tedious), return the shells to the water, and then make and strain the stock. That’s about a two-hour process. Once you’re done with that, then you make the bisque!

But with a salmon bisque, you can use clam juice in place of lobster stock. And all you need is a fillet or two of salmon. From start to finish it only takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Salmon bisque is cheaper than lobster bisque

Lobsters ain’t cheap! Salmon isn’t either but it’s more affordable than those dang delicious but pricey bottom feeders.

3. The only bisque you’ve ever had is lobster bisque

99% of the time it’s the only bisque option you’ll find in restaurants. Why not try something new?

4. Salmon bisque tastes incredible

I recently hosted a bisque-tasting party at my house. I know, who the hell does that?! This weirdo, that’s who.

But, in my defense, I am in the process of writing a cookbook on New England seafood soups (perhaps that makes me even weirder) and I’m currently working on the bisque chapter (Update: New England Soups from the Sea is now available!).

seafood cookbook imagery

Available Now!

From Rhode Island to Maine—Get 80 locally inspired recipes that honor the traditions of America’s northeast.

So I invited some local seafoodie friends over to try out four different types of bisques. Guess which one was the consensus favorite?

That’s right. Everyone loved it. This was my gut feeling because when I first made it I could not believe how good it was. It was so bisque-like that you’d never know it wasn’t a true bisque. However, I still felt like I needed some confirmation and feedback from some friends. I’m glad they loved it as much as I did. I’m confident you will too!

More Bisque Recipes to Try

More Salmon Soup Recipes to Try

Salmon Bisque Ingredients

The following ingredients are for a serving size of about 5 to 6 people.

  • 4 TBSPs of unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 stalk carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups clam broth or lobster stock
  • ¼ cup sherry or more!
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white rice
  • 1 pound fresh salmon, preferably wild
  • ½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill or more!
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream
  • Sea salt to taste

How to Make Salmon Bisque with Dill

Step 1. Saute the vegetables in butter

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium-sized stock pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf and saute for about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the garlic cloves in the last minute.

saute the vegetables

Step 2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth/stock, sherry, and white rice

It will look like tomato soup at this point.

add other ingredients

Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a steady boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf.

Step 3. Add the salmon

add the salmon

Simmer gently for a few minutes until it’s cooked. The meat will turn more of a pink color.

cook the salmon

Step 4. Puree the bisque

Turn the heat off.

You can use either a blender or a handheld immersion blender. I would highly recommend the latter as it’s much easier and safer. Regardless of which you choose, be very careful when blending hot soup as it can easily splatter. For an immersion blender, make sure it’s fully submerged underneath the liquid to prevent splattering. Start slow, like so…

puree the salmon bisque

Keep blending for a few minutes or so until the bisque becomes smooth, like so…

continue pureeing the salmon bisque until smooth

Step 5. Add 1 cup of the heavy cream

add heavy cream

Stir it in well. It will lighten the color of the bisque slightly, like so…

stir in the heavy cream

Taste the salmon bisque. Make whatever adjustments in flavor you desire. Add up to 1 more cup of heavy cream for added richness. Add salt, to taste, if needed. And add more sherry, if needed, for a boost of sweetness.

Step 6. Add dill

add the dill

Stir it in well, like so…

stir in the dill

Step 7. Ladle into individual bowls and add optional seasonings, to taste

Optional seasonings include a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, salt, a splash of sherry, a pinch of nutmeg, and more fresh dill!

Salmon Bisque Full Recipe

How to Make Salmon Bisque

Salmon Bisque with Dill

A simpler alternative to the time-intensive lobster bisque, salmon bisque is equally satisfying, rich and delicious!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
CourseMain Course, Side Dish, Soup
CuisineAmerican, French
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings5 servings
Calories652kcal
AuthorCraig Fear
Cost$25

Ingredients

  • 4 TBSPs butter unsalted
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 stalk carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups clam juice or lobster stock
  • ¼ cup sherry or more!
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white rice
  • 1 pound salmon preferably wild
  • ½ cup dill loosely packed, or more!
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream
  • Sea salt to taste

Optional seasonings, to taste

  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh dill chopped
  • Fresh lemon wedges
  • Pinch or two ground nutmeg
  • Splash or two sherry

Instructions

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a medium-sized stock pot and add onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf and saute about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic cloves in the last minute.
  • Add sherry, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and white rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a steady boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add salmon and simmer gently for a few minutes until cooked.
  • Remove the stockpot from the stove top and puree the bisque with a handheld immersion blender. Be very careful not to splatter hot soup!
  • Add 1 cup of the heavy cream and stir in. Taste. Add up to 1 more cup of cream and additional sherry, if desired, to taste. Add salt, to taste.
  • Add the dill and stir in.
  • Ladle into individual bowls and add optional seasonings, to taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 1058mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2226IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
Fearless Eating may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More info here.
Salmon Bisque: A Fantastic and Easy Bisque Recipe
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About the Author

Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.

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