I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to eat salmon since we are blessed to have so much of it here on the Kenai Peninsula. We often eat it grilled, broiled, pan-fried, smoked, in pasta, or as burgers. This recipe immediately caught my attention because it was different from the other salmon recipes I had tried and was perfect for this time of year – a creamy, thick soup.
To be fair, this isn’t technically a true “bisque,” which is a smooth soup of French origin made from lobster, shrimp, or crab. I had a true lobster bisque once in San Diego and it was so astonishing a soup that I still remember it nearly 15 years later (and it is probably one of the reasons I was drawn to this recipe). Although not a true bisque, this rich, paprika-scented soup with bright, fresh lemon flavor is a lovely pairing with tender flaked salmon. It’s simple enough to make any day of the week, but elegant enough to serve for guests. In my book, that makes it a keeper.
1 lb salmon (I used wild sockeye), seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and flaked
2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped, for serving
To a large pot over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, cooking about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay, tomato paste, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook another 1 minute. Turn the heat up to high and stir in the wine, followed by the broth and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat, cover and cook 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
Using a hand immersion blender, blend the soup until very smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and heavy cream. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with flaked salmon and chives, with lemon wedges on the side.
I pan-fried my salmon in a little bit of oil for this recipe, but you can also bake, broil, or poach it.