Salmon Quenelles in Tomato Bisque

Salmon  Quenelles in Tomato Bisque

Quenelles are poached, egg-shaped dumplings made from a light mousse which can comprise finely minced white meats, shellfish or in this case,salmon. Floated in a savoury tomato bisque,these quenelles make an elegant starter to your Easter or Passover celebration.

Serves 4 as a starter

Level of difficulty: intermediate


For the Quenelles:
3/4 pound raw salmon meat coarsely chopped
1 tsp. wasabi paste
1/4 tsp. finely grated ginger root
3 tbsp. finely chopped chives
4 sprigs cilantro leaves finely chopped
1 egg white
1/2 cup 35% cream
1/4 tsp. each: salt and white pepper

For the stock:
1/2 lb. salmon bones
1 cup dry white wine
4 lime leaves
1 celery stalk chopped
1 small onion halved
1/4 tsp. each: salt and pepper

For the Tomato Bisque:
14 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup fish stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic crushed
2 lime leaves
1 chipotle pepper (whole)
2 tbsp. 35% cream
2 tbsp. chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste


For the Stock
In a large pot place all fish stock ingredients, add 1 litre plus 2 cups cold water.
Simmer uncovered over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Do not stir, simply skim-off any scum which rises to the top during cooking.To finsih stock, remove from heat and ladle stock into a bowl being careful not to disturb the debris at the bottom.

For the Bisque
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, briefly saute the garlic and whole chipotle, add the wine, stir and simmer until the alcohol cooks-off. Add the crushed tomatoes and lime leaves. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, remove lime leaves and chipotle pepper, discard. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, warm gently, remove from heat and stir in cream, ladle into serving dishes, add quenelles and garnish with chopped chives.

For the Quenelles
In a food processor place all ingredients for the quenelles, except the cream and chives. Slowly pulse until mixture is finely minced, then slowly add the cream and chives, being careful not to overprocess. Transfer mixture to a bowl, chill to firm for 2 hours. To cook the quenelles, simmer 1 litre of fish stock in a large deep frying pan over low heat. Using two wet soup spoons, shape a generous scoop of salmon mixture into an egg shape and gently place in the simmering stock, quickly repeat with half of the rest of the mixture,cover pan loosely and poach for 5 mins.; do not let the stock boil.
Remove poached quenelles with a slotted spoon and set aside in a covered bowl, repeat the process with the rest of the mixture. To serve, place two quenelles per bowl on a pool of tomato bisque. The poaching liquid can be reserved and frozen for further use.

This recipe and photo was contributed by Loretta White,a food columnist based in Chester Nova Scotia.

For more recipes, visit Loretta's blog, Food for Thought at

Complementary Wines: Champagne Brut, Chenin Blanc, Riesling

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