Shrimp Bisque

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.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Peel and devine Shrimp, reserving shells.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, dice shrimp into small pieces, keeping a few whole for garnish.
  4. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add shrimp and saute until pink and mostly cooked through.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Heat gently until hot but not boiling.
  10. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  11. Serve hot, garnishing with reserved whole shrimp.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Be warned, this creamy soup packs in a lot of calories. Most of the calories come from fat, and this does comply with the Keto diet if that is your thing. Fat is where the flavor is at! But it is balanced with highly nutrious vegetables and stock. Changing to vegetable stock and omitting the bacon makes this a hearty vegetarian meal.

I start this soup with a classic Mirepoix, the fundamental element of classic cuisine. Three aromatic ingredients (carrot, celery and onion) come together to provide flavor and aroma to stock, soups, sauces and other foods.

This soup can be made quickly on a weeknight. The recipe makes about 3 quarts of soup. It can be divided easily to make less. It does freeze well because of the emulsion of the cheeses into the soup and stores in the refrigerator for several days.

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons Butter
Drizzle of Avocado Oil
1 Whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 Whole Large Carrot, Diced
3 Celery Stocks, Diced
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 Quartz Chicken or Vegetable Stock
8 Cups Broccoli Florets (fresh preferred, can use frozen)
8 ounces Cream Cheese
3 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Grated

Optional Toppings:
Additional Steamed Broccoli Florets
Cooked Bacon Crumbles
Cheddar Cheese, Grated

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, melt butter and avocado oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until onion is translucent. Stir frequently for even cooking. Do not brown.
  3. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1-3 minutes more, garlic will soften.
  4. Add stock and fresh broccoli. If using frozen broccoli, see step 5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes. Broccoli will be very tender. If using frozen broccoli, do not add it until the last 10 minutes of cooking time as it is already partially cooked before it is frozen.
  6. Remove from heat and blend with an emmersion blender or in batches using a food processor or traditional blender.
  7. Return to low heat and add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Cook stirring continuously until cheese are melted and incorporated into the vegetable puree. If you wish, use the emmersion blender to thoroughly incorporate the cheeses.
  8. At this point, the soup is done and ready to serve.
  9. Top with optional steamed broccoli, bacon crumbles and cheese if desired.

Tomato Bisque

I was working to prep the vegetable garden all day yesterday, and threw this bisque together with toasted sandwiches at the end of the day. It makes a quick meal that warms you when the spring days turn to cold evenings; or any time of year when you have that yearning for a good comfort food.

This bisque is a hearty, rustic soup with a flavor medley formed from its vegetable base. As written it is Vegetarian/Keto friendly. Substituting nut milks for the dairy in the recipe will convert it to Paleo/Vegan friendly.

I like mine topped with a bold cheese such as Parmesan, Gorganzola or Blue, maybe a bit of Roasted Garlic. I serve with homemade croutons or a slice of toasted and buttered rustic bread.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Large Carrot, diced
2 Stalks Celery, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and mashed
32 Ounces of Fresh whole tomatoes, peeled
(or 28 ounce canned whole tomatoes with with juice if fresh not available)
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, mincd
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 Cup whipping cream

Instructions

  1. On medium setting, heat butter and olive oil in a medium stock pot until butter melts and begins to sizzle. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes are cooked and easy to squish with the back of a spoon.
  2. Add fresh herbs and blend with an immersion blender, or you can transfer to a food processor or blender if you do not have an immersion blender and blend in small batches and cover lid with dish towel to avoid hot splatters. Blend until no chunks remain and herbs are flecked throughout.
  3. Add fresh whipping cream and stir to finish soup.

Tip: This past year, I had a lot of tomatoes come out of the garden, and the kitchen was being remodeled, so I learned you can actually freeze whole tomatoes. I washed and cored my tomatoes and then froze them on cookie sheets individually before placing in re-sealable freezer bags. This allows you to remove the tomatoes individually – they don’t stick together. You can just reach in the bags and grab what you need for a recipe. When they thaw they are great for soups, stews, sauces, condiments and salsas. The skins slip right off after thawing.

If you don’t garden, but frequent farmer’s markets for that sun-ripened tomato taste, this technique is a great way to have that fresh tomato taste throughout the fall and winter. I use my frozen tomatoes and just weigh them out with a kitchen scale before partially thawing, peeling and dropping into soup base.

Seafood Pan Roast

Rich, warm, and decadent. Not served often due to the high fat content, but this buttery, velvety broth graced with poached seafood is just the way to warm the body and soul on a cold evening, It is a hearty meal and the only needed accompaniment is freshly baked sourdough, lightly toasted, to soak up that amazing broth when the last tender morsel of seafood has been consumed. Of course, I like to dunk and enjoy the juxaposition of velvety broth with the crunch of the bread as I go. For those with shellfish allergies, white fish can be substituted.

Ingredients

¼ Cup Butter (1/2 Stick)
1 Cup Shrimp peeled and deveined (I buy frozen raw at Costo)
1 Cup Scallops (I buy frozen at Trader Joe’s they
are perfect bite size)
½ Cup Buttery White Wine (don’t use cheap wine,
it ruins it – I learned the hard way, LOL)
1 Cup (8 oz.) Clam Juice
1 Cup (8 oz.) Chili Sauce (Heinz preferred)
1 Cup (8 oz.) Heavy Cream
2 – 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
½ teaspoon Celery Salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Dungeness crab meat
1 Cup Shucked Oysters
1 Dash Paprika

Instructions

  • Heat butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add shrimp and scallops and sauté until shrimp are pink and scallops almost completely cooked. Add wine and bring to simmer. Add clam juice, chili sauce, cream and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add Oysters and cook for 2 minutes. Add Crab; simmer an additional one to two minutes.
  • Serve in large bowls garnished with paprika. 

Can substitute any combination of seafood and increase decrease quantities of others to taste. Lobster and mussels are a good change up. White fish can be substituted but is more delicate so reduce cooking times.