I can’t think of anything more elegant or romantic than a true bisque of delicate seafood. Served with a good crusty bread and a fresh green salad, it’s a classic intimate dinner for two that is light and yet satisfying. Perfect for a cold winter evening when love is in the air.

(You can order shrimp and scallops ahead from Josh at Wild Alaskan Salmon & Seafood Co. They will be at the Market this 2nd week of the month and again for Week #4.)

Seafood Bisque

adapted from a recipe by Diana Rattray for The Spruce Eats


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp (shells removed)
  • 8 ounces cooked scallops
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, cilantro, and/or green onion tops

To pre-cook seafood:

  1. Pat shrimp and scallops dry; sprinkle with seafood seasoning or salt & pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops and shrimp; sear until scallops are golden brown and firm and shrimp turn pink, about 2-3 minutes on each side.


  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat; add the chopped green onion and celery. Sauté, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.
  2. Blend the flour into the butter and vegetables until well incorporated. Continue cooking, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Warm the milk in another saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Slowly stir the warmed milk into the butter and vegetables. Continue cooking, stirring until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the freshly ground black pepper, tomato paste, and heavy cream.
  6. If desired, puree the soup in a blender or food processor at this point* and then return it to the saucepan.
  7. Stir in the pre-cooked shrimp, scallops, and sherry. (seafood can be cut into smaller bite-sized pieces if you like.) Bring it to a simmer.
  8. Serve hot, garnished with parsley, cilantro, and/or chopped green onion tops. Makes 4 servings.

*Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients — Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere and/or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up and puree in small batches. Vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Tips: When making the roux, the goal is to heat the milk so it’s about the same temperature as the flour-thickened butter mixture. If either element is too cool or hot, the roux may be lumpy or separate.

How to Store and Freeze: The bisque will keep in the fridge, covered, for three to four days. To freeze, cool the soup and transfer to covered, freezer-safe, airtight containers. Date and label them and freeze for up to six months. Defrost the bisque in the fridge and reheat gently over low heat to prevent it from getting too grainy and/or curdling. Stir well.

Check out these additional romantic recipes from our archive.

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