Fratelli Perata Winery

Fratelli Perata Salmon Bisque

Everyone who has been to our tasting room knows Carol, wife of Winemaker Gino, is a Seattle native who married into a marvelous Italian family. Seattle has a few things going for it: besides coffee and tech, the salmon are terrific. It is not by coincidence that when Carol and Gino moved to California on the quest for an Italian-esque vineyard site, Carol voted for the area with a cooling marine influence. And here we are, within shouting distance of some of the best salmon available. So here is a creamy soup to warm the soul and the homesick. The salmon may be leftover from a salmon steak or filet served yesterday, or it can be canned if you’re desperate. Egg yolks in the recipe help reduce the amount of cream used, per Cook’s Illustrated technique, but if you need to avoid eggs, then proceed with just cream. The bisque won’t be as silky, but the taste is just as fine. Of course, all the while you should be sampling a glass of Charbono, since this is a quick recipe and for full enjoyment, the wine needs to breathe.

1 onion, chopped fine
1 tender stalk celery, not stringy outer stock, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
mild olive oil
1 pint fish stock or water
1 pint water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon TJ’s seafood cocktail sauce or a pinch of chili flakes
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces leftover cooked salmon, no skin/bones, or 1-6 or 7 ounce can salmon, flaked

Chop the onion, celery, and garlic. Put a splash of olive oil in a large heavy pot, add the vegetables, and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown. Add pint fish stock (or water), pint water, tomato sauce, and cocktail sauce (or chili flakes). Bring to just a simmer. Keep warm on stove.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cold heavy cream. Then slowly ladle about 2 cups stock from the simmering pot into the egg and cream mixture, stirring constantly. Pour this slowly into the large heavy pot holding the rest of the stock and vegetables, stirring. Heat to 165 degrees F.

Add salmon, stirring to disperse. Return bisque to serving temperature, but never boiling.

Garnish with chopped parsley, serve with crusty garlic bread and a glass of Charbono.

Note: This is not chowder, made with flour and butter. This is much lighter.