Scallop Bisque

  • Serves

    serves 4

This unusual Irish soup uses fish bones and trimmings to get its flavor. Creamy and light, it makes a lovely accompaniment on a cold evening.


  • 5 lb. bones and trimmings from a non-oily fish, such as red snapper or flounder
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, halved
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. large sea scallops
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives


Step 1

Make a stock by combining fish parts, carrots, onions, celery, wine, bay leaves, lemongrass, and salt to taste with 8 cups water in a large stockpot. Bring to a simmer, skim foam, and cook for 40 minutes. Strain. Return stock to pot and simmer until reduced by half.

Step 2

Heat olive oil in a large skillet until very hot but not smoking. Sear scallops about 1 minute on each side. Set aside.

Step 3

Strain stock into a heavy saucepan. Add cream. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add scallops. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with chives.