A scallop bisque is a rarity in the bisque world. You don’t see it much, if ever, on restaurant menus. Let’s face it, 99% of all bisques made in restaurants are lobster bisque. I’ll take an educated guess and say you’ve never tried a scallop bisque before. Me neither until I made this recipe.
An unequivocal HELL. YEAH.
I could not believe how magnificent it turned out! And, as opposed to lobster, it’s actually quite easy to make into a bisque.
Now technically, a true bisque is made from crustaceans such as lobsters, whose shells are used to make a stock. It’s the stock, simmered with aromatic vegetables, wine, and seasonings that’s the real heart and soul of a bisque. But lobster bisque, as wonderful as it is, is not a simple thing to make. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the more difficult seafood soup recipes to make at home.
You need to steam the live lobsters first (not for the squeamish), shell them (a royal pain in the ass), and then make a lobster stock from the shells. It’s time-intensive and messy, to say the least. As an example, have you ever seen Julia Child’s famous recipe for lobster bisque? Be prepared to spend at a very minimum, an entire afternoon in the kitchen.
While I’ll include a lobster bisque recipe in my New England Soups from the Sea cookbook, I also wanted to feature some simpler bisque recipes too. Sea scallops, with their large, sweet, buttery meats are so much easier to make into a bisque because they always come shelled at the store.
From Rhode Island to Maine—Get 80 locally inspired recipes that honor the traditions of America’s northeast.
All you need to do is add them to a pre-made shellfish stock, such as bottled clam juice, cook them with some veggies and white rice, puree it all together, and then add additional herbs, cream, and seasonings. From start to finish, you can have it ready within a half-hour, easily.
In my recipe, I tried out a variety of different herbs including parsley, thyme, basil, and savory. But nothing compared to sage. Its pungent pine-like aroma and earthy taste beautifully harmonized with the sweet ocean flavor of sea scallops. The end result was this fragrant, silky, and luxurious scallop bisque recipe.
This scallops bisque recipe is one of the simplest seafood bisques. Simply combine the scallops with shellfish stock, puree it all together and add additional herbs, cream and seasonings. You can have it all ready within a half hour, easily.
While rice is cooking, in a separate pan, sear the remaining ½ pound of scallops in butter or oil, a few minutes per side until browned, and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
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.
Fish Broth: How to Make It, Best Brands, and Substitutes
How to Make Salmon Bisque with Dill