Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Shrimp is less expensive and more attainable these days than its popular bisque cousins – crab and lobster. This is a rich and creamy soup with a more subtle flavor. It can be a meal in itself, or can be rounded out with a salad and a nice crusty bread.
For Bisque 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved 5 Cups Seafood Stock, see recipe below 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided 3 Cups Chopped Leaks, white and light green parts (about 3 leeks) 1.5 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced 1/3 Cup Brandy 1/3 Cup Dry Sherry 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour 3 Cups Heavy Cream 1/2 Cup Tomato Paste 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce 2 Tablespoons Madeira 1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning Salt and Pepper to Taste For Seafood Stock Reserved Shrimp Shells 2 Bay Leaves 1 Lemon, cut in 1/2 1 Large Carrot, peeled and cut in to large pieces 2 Ribs Celery, cut into large pieces 1 Medium Onion 1 Teaspoon Vegetable Bouillon powder 2 8 oz. Bottles of Clam Juice 6 Cups Water
- Peel and devine Shrimp, reserving shells.
- Combine all ingredients for seafood stock in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour. Strain solids and reserve resulting stock. Add enough water to make 5 cups if necessary.
- Meanwhile, dice shrimp into small pieces, keeping a few whole for garnish.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add shrimp and saute until pink and mostly cooked through.
- Add leeks to dutch oven. Saute leeks until soft and translucent but not browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the brandy and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer shrimp (except whole shrimp – reserve for garnish in a separate bowl) leeks, garlic and all pan juices to food processor. Use a spatula to get all the pan juices into the food processor bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup of the seafood stock to the food processor. Pulse until shrimp, leeks and garlic are coarsley pureed. Let rest in food processor bowl and proceed to next step.
- Melt butter in dutch oven. Add flour and cook over medium-low heat for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to form a golden roux.
- Add the cream and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened. Stir in the Madeira and cook for another minute. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the remaining stock, tomato paste, Old Bay Seasoning, and Worchestershire sauce.
- Heat gently until hot but not boiling.
- Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Serve hot, garnishing with reserved whole shrimp.