Creamy, Velvety Shrimp Bisque

shrimp bisque

shrimp bisque

Shrimp Bisques is one of my favorite soups so I was pretty ecstatic when our chef told us we would be making a homemade shrimp bisque in class.  Being from Louisiana, I have to know these kind of recipes like the back of my hand, right?! I can’t wait to make a big pot of shrimp bisque as an appetizer for Thanksgiving this year. No matter where you are from, you will love this decadent recipe!

A bisque is a soup that is derived from shellfish- traditionally made with shrimp, crab, lobster, or crayfish.  It is usually thickened with rice and heavy cream.  Whenever you see an item on a menu such as “tomato bisque” or “mushroom bisque,” keep in mind these are not actual bisques. Furthermore, a bisque is considered to be a luxury soup, so make it for someone who truly deserves it!

What’s so great about this recipe is that it is in between a creamy soup and a thin liquid-y soup.  It also has the perfect balance of flavors and pairs nicely as an appetizer or entree.  What’s better is that it is quite simple to prepare and doesn’t require a long cooking time.  You will LOVE it!

For this recipe you will need:

4 large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and chopped

1 onion, small dice

3 cup fumet (shrimp stock)

1 oz. butter

4 oz. dry Sherry

1 cup cream

4 oz. large grain rice

Pinch cayenne

Salt and white pepper to taste

First, peel and de-vein the raw shrimp.  Cut down the middle lengthwise and then dice across. In a pot over medium-low heat, sweat the onions in the butter with a sprinkle of salt. Wait for the onions to turn translucent and then deglaze with the sherry.  Reduce to sec (almost dry- about 2 Tbsp).  Add the shrimp, fumet, cream, and rice to the pot.  Give everything a nice stir and bring to a low and steady simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Once the rice is tender, separate half of the liquid into a bowl and the other half with the rice, onion and shrimp mixture into a blender.  Blend until smooth and then pour the mixture back into the pot with the remaining liquid.  The soup needs to be smooth and velvety; however, if it is not, you may pour the mixture into a chinois or strainer and strain the larger chunks of rice. Season your bisque with a pinch of cayenne pepper along with salt and white pepper.  Tip:  a baguette makes for great dipping!

Bon Appetit!

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