Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque

Fish and Clam Bisque: A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

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She’s back! My sister Nadalyn is sharing another one of her mouth-watering recipes with us today – a Fish and Clam Bisque with Fenugreek.  To see all of Nadalyn’s recipes here in MJ’s Kitchen, check out the links at the end of this post.


You may remember that MJ introduced us to the amazing spice shop, Season With Spice, last fall. One of the spices there that intrigued me was fenugreek. Not only had I never used it, I had never heard of it. It seems that fenugreek, besides in cooking, is used in folk medicine for a little bit of everything, including but not limited to stomach and digestive ailments both constipation and IBS, cardiac conditions of all kinds, lowering cholesterol, increasing the production of milk during breast-feeding and even ED. If you don’t know what ED is then you don’t watch TV ads. 🙂

MJ told me that she had dared to experiment with fenugreek, in cooking of course, so I decided to give it a go as well. This Indian inspired dish is a result of that daring do. If you like curry dishes, this should appeal to you.

Oh, and you may want to grab a loaf of French bread to sop up the yummy broth.


Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque

Fish and Clam Bisque: A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek #clam #bisque @MJsKitchen

A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen
Print or Save Recipe
Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque Recipe
30 mins
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A seafood bisque uniquely flavored with fenugreek.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients

Course: Seafood, soups & stews
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: Nadalyn Larsen
  • 2 lbs fresh clams
  • 1 lb fish*, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped white and green parts
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 8-10 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6-8 small red potatoes, sliced in 1/8 inch thick slices
  • Spinach – about 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half*
  • 1 ½ tbsps. fenugreek powder
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • ½ tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided in half
  • Salt and pepper
I recommend having all your veggies chopped and ready to go before you start cooking because the cooking times for each phase of the process are so short.
  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat the olive oil and half the butter on medium heat.
  2. Add the scallions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with about ½ tsp of salt.
  3. When the mushrooms start to turn color and emit their liquid add the chicken broth, the potatoes, fenugreek, garam masala, cumin, and salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the half and half and remainder of the butter.
  5. Adjust salt to taste. A little extra doesn’t hurt because the fish will absorb it.
  6. When the liquid returns to a simmer add the fish and clams. Cook until the clams open and the fish turns opaque.
  7. Reduce the heat and add the spinach. Stir gently just until the spinach wilts.
  8. Remove from heat to avoid over cooking. Serve into bowls.

Serve with a crusty bread. You'll need it to soak up the remaining broth.
Kitchen Notes

Fish: A thick meaty fish like catfish, mahi mahi, cod, or halibut is best for this bisque. A thin delicate fish like tilapia or swai falls apart. I


Mushrooms: You can use almost any kind of mushroom. I prefer the crimini, but white button mushroom or shiitake would work fine. Even if you wanted to get fancy and use two or three different kinds like adding oyster mushrooms or similar would be great.


Potatoes: Red potatoes are best, but any kind would work. The thing is to cut them into bite size pieces that are small enough to cook thoroughly in this short amount of time.


Cream: This recipe uses half and half, heavy cream also works yielding a rich, creamy consistency.  A lactose free dairy product works fine.


Seasonings: The fenugreek smells like a mild curry mixed with some other herb. In use, it can have a very bitter after taste if used alone. The garam masala and cumin alleviate this aftertaste and add richness to the dish. Regarding the salt and pepper, taste throughout the cooking and adjust the salt as needed. The black pepper you only need to add once.



A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen


More recipes by Nadalyn:

Grilled Meat and Late Summer Vegetable Salad

Stewed Cushaw and Yummy Deliciousness Cushaw Coffee Cake

Not My Aunt’s Chicken Pot Pie

Thank you Nadalyn for sensing that I was having a very busy April and sending me this deliciously beautiful Fish and Clam Bisque to share with my readers!


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55 Responses to “Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque”

  1. swathi May 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Delicious, Fenugreek really healthy spice we use in our curries. very nice post.

  2. Charles Smith May 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    This looks lovely – I don’t think I ever had fenugreek before… is that the stuff that smells really bad when it’s cooking but tastes really good, or am I thinking of something else?

    • mj May 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Thanks Charles! I not sure about the smell while it’s cooking. I don’t remember it smelling bad the one time I used it, so I would say you are using something else.

  3. nusrat2010 May 2, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I can dive into, swim through that flavor-bursting, good-lookin’ bowl of soup all day long! Interesting to see the use of garam masala here.

    Inviting recipe with warm images. Loved it!

  4. Raymund April 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    Honestly this is my kind of dish, those clams make me drool, the soup must be so tasty!

    • mj April 30, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      It does sound right up your alley Raymund! 🙂

  5. A_Boleyn April 30, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I only have dried fenugreek but I’m very intrigued by the recipe and the combination of ingredients. The combination of flavours sounds delicious. I have some home made seafood stock in my freezer and a large package of frozen seafood which would be a good start to making this, I think.

    • mj April 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Thanks so much for dropping by! Seafood stock as the base sounds perfect for this bisque!

  6. Katerina April 30, 2014 at 2:37 am #

    This is a very inviting and filling seafood soup! Although I am not a big fan of seafood soups, I would love to try this one.

  7. Nancy-SpicieFoodie April 29, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi MJ and Nadalyn!
    I love fenugreek for cooking and as folk medicine. Your bisque looks to die for! Every single ingredient is making my mouth water. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  8. easyfoodsmith April 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Being an Indian, I often use fenugreek seeds in cooking but fenugreek powder in soup/ bisque is something I never thought of! Sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to try this recipe. I will have to leave out the clams though coz I doubt the freshness and quality of those available here.

    • mj April 30, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Interesting that you have used seeds but not the powder. I would have thought the norm for Indian cooking was powder. Oh, how wrong was I. Thanks for your comments as always!

  9. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 29, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Really wonderful recipe. I adore all fish stews/bisques, etc. This looks like a winner and glad to see fenugreek. I bought some once and never used it again since I did not know what to do with it.

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Thanks Evelyn! You sound like me and fenugreek – I used it once and never used it again. Now we both have reason to pull it out from the back of the spice cabinet. 🙂

  10. ChgoJohn April 29, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    I love seafood in all its forms and this bisque looks like a real treat! I’ve only used fenugreek in one other dish and look forward to using it again. Great tip, too, about using garam masala and cumin. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks John! Like you, Nadalyn has access to some great seafood and like you – she knows how to make it shine in a great tasting dish!

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 29, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    I remember drinking tea made of fenugreek while breastfeeding (recommended by the doctor) and the first time I learned that we can use it for cooking was when my Indian friends use fenugreek in cooking. This bisque looks so good, and I love clams. It’s easy to cook (quick to cook) and so flavorful! I’d love to try this soup!

  12. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Heeheeh, I actually had to think about ED for a while… I clearly don’t watch enough live TV!! 🙂 I do love Indian spices including the curries so I am quite intrigued by fenugreek as well (as it relates to cooking of course 😉 ) I do eat a lot of Indian in restaurants so it’s possible that I’ve tasted it before but I’ve never purchased it for home cooking — sounds like one we should all get to know. Thank you for the introduction. Beautiful bisque Nadalyn — I always enjoy your guest posts (and your sense of humour!!).

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      That’s funny Kelly because I had a momentary pause at ED as well. 🙂 I must add that Nadalyn and I have been keeping each other laughing all of our lives. 🙂 Thanks for your comments as always!

  13. Liz April 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    What a gorgeous bisque! I’ve never tasted fenugreek, but this looks like a terrific way to sample it! Another great sister post 🙂

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Thanks so much Liz! I just love when my sister presents her wonderful dishes! She’s so clever in the kitchen!

  14. Asmita April 28, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    This looks like such a comforting soup! Yum!!

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Asmita!

  15. nipponnin April 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    This is the first time I heard of fenugreek, I’m very intrigued by it. The dish is lovely. A big bowl of this would be very comforting I bet.

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Nippon! I’ve only used fenugreek once and it was a long time ago, so I’m looking forward to finding some clams and giving this soup a try. Thanks Nadalyn!

  16. Treat and Trick April 27, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    This comforting meal looks so good! Am wondering how that fenugreek wlll enhance the taste…

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      I’m wondering the same thing. Definitely need to make it and find out. 🙂

  17. cquek April 27, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Simple yet amazingly delicious recipes like this are the best!!!

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      Thanks Cquek! I totally agree!

  18. Carol at Wild Goose Tea April 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    I am not familiar with fenugreek spice either. I am going to google it and see what I
    find out about it. I live in the Pacific NW on the water. So halibut and Alaskan cod would be perfect. Needless to say we have clams clams clams. Most of the time those clams are in chowder. What a wonderful change of pace this recipe is.

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Carol, I envy you for all the great seafood you have in your area! We have a lot of good stuff from the Gulf of Mexico here but not some of the wonderful things you have. The great thing about seafood is the infinite possibilities for wonderful dishes that it provides. Cheers!

  19. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen April 25, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    It looks like my kind of soup, although I’m not really familiar with fenugreek. I hope I can find Fenugreek at the supermarket. I’m adding it in my list of spices to try. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      If you can’t find fenugreek in your market you might try that Season With Spice website. Their prices are very reasonable and you don’t have to buy huge quantities to try something new. I hope you get to try the soup; and like it too.

  20. Sissi April 25, 2014 at 1:47 am #

    What a lovely looking soup, Nadalyn! I have always liked fenugreek but only used it in Indian cuisine. This sounds like a great fusion dish. I haven’t had catfish for ages… I have never even seen it sold here, but I did have it as a child (freshly caught…). Your soup brought back childhood memories.

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Catfish are part of our best childhood memories too, Sissi. Goin fishin’ was a big part of our lives back then. Now that my husband and I have moved back to Texas we have the opportunity to fish again, and catfish are plentiful in our local water. Thank you for your comment.

  21. Minnie@thelady8home April 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    That is a very clever dish and a very clever use of fenugreek. But I see that you used almost one tbsp and a half of the powder – how was the bitterness quotient? Normally fenugreek goes very well with meat dishes (fenugreek is also often one of the ingredients of the bottled curry powder) and other added spices, but the quantity used is very little – half a tsp at the most even in the richest of gravies. This does look amazing, and I would like to give it a try for sure.

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Minnie! I started out with a tsp. and had to keep adding to get the flavor quotient I wanted, but in turn, the more of the stand alone spice I use the more potent the bitterness to the point that it was very unpleasant. That’s why I had to up the quantity of the other spices as well. I have often found that there can be a lot of variables in the same spice depending on origin or processing. Your particular powder may have a different property than the one I used so you may not get the same result. Start out with a small quantity and adjust to your spice and taste. Thank you for the great question.

  22. Viviane Bauquet Farre April 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Nads and MJ — this looks so delicious and warming! Thanks for bringing this odd little spice to light.

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Thank you Viviane. It’s always fun and challenging to experiment with new ingredients, especially when the experiment turns out well. 🙂

  23. Angie (@angiesrecipess) April 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    I bought a bag of fenugreek seeds last year and used most of them to grow some greens for the salads. The combo of fish and fenugreek is new to me. Would really love to taste the soup as it looks very delicious to me. Thanks for sharing, Nads, MJ.

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Fenugreek Greens!! Now that’s something I would like to try if I had a garden. Thank you Angie.

  24. J+C @WineDineDaily April 24, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    The french bread is ready and waiting for this bisque! It is just perfect for those cooler evenings and looks so good! Have a great week!

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks J+C! Ya’ll have a great week too.

  25. Ramona April 24, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    Mouthwatering is a perfect description… My mouth is watering. I have allergies or a spring cold so this bisque would hit the spot. 🙂

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      It’s a bad allergy time where I am too. I wish I could get a bowl to you. Hope you are feeling better Ramona.

  26. Choc Chip Uru April 23, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    What a delicious recipe, it is full of seafood, spice and flavour! And looks classy too 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Nads April 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks so much for the great comment!

  27. Hotly Spiced April 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    I don’t use fenugreek all that often either. It looks like this dish would be wonderful with fenugreek. That’s a beautiful looking bisque xx

    • Nads April 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

      Thank you! We really enjoy it.

  28. Debra April 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    I wish I had this spice shop near. I venture to a Mideastern market when I need fenugreek but that is fun in itself. I usually end up with a basket full of all sorts of interesting ingredients.

    • Nads April 23, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

      I don’t have a spice shop near me either, Debra, so the Season With Spice website was a great find. I know what you mean. Any time I go into a gourmet shop of any kind I’m like a kid in a candy store.

  29. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    What a clever cooking duo you two are. The flavor combination of the fish and fenugreek is really interesting. We’re all going through our spices to see if we have any fenugreek we bought but never opened. 🙂

    • Nads April 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Yes Maureen, MJ and I are a pretty good duo in more ways than one. We’ve always been close and supportive of each other. Thank you and so many others for all the support you continue to show her.

  30. John@Kitchen Riffs April 23, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    What a nice dish! I love a good seafood bisque, and this one has such interesting flavors. I do have some fenugreek in my spice cabinet, but I so rarely use it. Great reminder of how good it is. Really like this recipe — thanks.

    • Nads April 23, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      Thank you John! Since Fenugreek is new to me, I’d love to hear some of your uses for it too.

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