Cheater “Lobster” Bisque

Do you ever feel like you have the palette for lobster, but the budget for frozen salmon, at best? Me too, my friend. In fact, that was the impetus behind this recipe–that, and the realization that most bisque recipes out there are filled with flour and other gluten ingredients!

If you find yourself craving creamy bisque, but up against some budget and dietary constraints, check out my recipe for cheater “lobster” bisque–perfect for a cold winter’s night!


Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp butter or olive oil, + 1 Tbsp

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup goat cheese

2 cups milk

1 cup tomato juice

1 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp gf flour

1 tsp cold water

3 pieces salmon

salt and pepper to taste

In a frying pan, coat the bottom with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place salmon pieces flat in pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add 2-3 Tbsp water, and cover tightly. Poach on medium heat 4-5 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat remaining butter/oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onion, and chili and simmer until fragrant.

Add goat cheese and whisk until melted. Slowly add milk and tomato juice (and tomato paste). Allow to simmer, whisking frequently. Add in Parmesan and stir.

With two forks, shred the salmon. Add to the pot.

Simmer until soup begins to bubble.

In a small bowl, mix flour and water to make a smooth, runny paste. Add gradually to the soup, whisking constantly to incorporate. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency.

Serve immediately.


This recipe works well with olive oil, dairy butter, vegan butter, or other butter substitute.

If desired, you can use real onions or garlic; however, I find the powdered versions easy, inexpensive, and full of flavor!

If you prefer a less spicy version, omit the chili powder. If you like a little more kick, increase the quantity.

This recipe was originally created with goat cheese, but it would work well with cream cheese as well, or another similar tangy, creamy cheese. If you are dairy free, I recommend looking for a vegan cheese that has some tartness.

I originally made this recipe with almond milk. It works equally well with dairy milk, or you could try a milk of your choice.

Parmesan adds a nice flavor to this soup, but if you are dairy free, you can omit it. Nutritional yeast might work as a vegan substitute, too.

1:1 gluten free flour works great for this recipe, but feel free to use flour of your choice!


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