Salmon Bisque (Dairy-Free)

Believe it or not, this last week has given us several days of what I would call “soup weather”.  Overcast skies, a chill in the air, drizzling rain.  We even had spectacular thunder and lightening storms the last two nights in a row.  I liked them.  The dog did not.  So while other bloggers are posting their favorite rhubarb or spring salad recipes (which really do look good), I’m curled up on my couch with a blanket and a bowl of soup.

Despite the visions of butter and heavy cream usually conjured up by the mention of “bisque”, this recipe has neither.  And I can tell you that it doesn’t need either one.  The salmon adds a richness all its own and a couple small potatoes makes for the perfect amount of body.  The pictures here show it topped with a dollop of greek yogurt, but it’s just as lovely without.  Perhaps you could even add a swirl of olive oil for some extra healthy fats.

One other nice thing about this soup: It helped me finally figure out what to do with a certain specialty salt that I’ve had in my kitchen for almost a year!  You see, last summer when my parents visited, my mom bought a large container of a nice coarse gray salt.  The flakes (chunks is actually probably a better word) had a nice taste and look to them but I just didn’t know how to handle them.  They were too large to use for most cooking applications and too fancy-seeming to just dissolve into soup or broth.  I put my container on the top shelf of my pantry and forgot about it.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, our neighbors gave us a very belated Christmas present of 3 gorgeous salt vials.  One of them contained the same coarse gray salt from Guerande, France (the same place fleur de sel comes from).  Now, it seemed, I was really going to need to find an appropriate use for this unusual salt.

Well, I think I finally did it.  When a few flakes are added to a warm bowl of thick soup like this one and then mixed in, it creates pleasant little pockets of saltiness with some crunch where the salt didn’t dissolve completely.  I think this would also work nicely with a lentil or split-pea soup.

Question: Have any of you received gifts for the kitchen that you weren’t quite sure how to use?  What did you end up doing with them?

Salmon Bisque
makes 4 servings
adapted (slightly) from Tartelette

– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 2 leeks, white parts only, cleaned and sliced
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 2 carrots, sliced
– 2 small red potatoes, sliced
– 2 Tbsp extra dry vermouth
– 3 cups vegetable broth
– 1 lb skinless salmon, cubed (I found some for a good price in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s)
– salt and pepper, to taste
– greek yogurt, olive oil, and/or salt for serving

Heat olive oil over medium in a large pot.  Add vegetables and sautee, stirring so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add vermouth, vegetable broth, and salmon and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender (let the soup cool a bit if your blender is not designed for hot liquids).  Garnish as desired and serve.  This soup keeps for a few days in the refrigerator.

*I added this post to this week’s Sugar Free Sunday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Hearth and Soul Hop, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Mix it Up Monday.


4 thoughts on “Salmon Bisque (Dairy-Free)

  1. This sounds delicious! It is definitely not soup weather in NY….well, maybe cold soup! Thanks for sharing this—I love all the ingredients!

    I haven’t gotten many kitchen gifts that I didn’t request…. usually it’s me that buys something that looks interesting and then I can’t figure out what to do with it!

  2. Wow! That looks great! I love some bisque and never thought to make it with salmon. Thanks for the idea!

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