Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shrimp Bisque

First, I have to admit that I absolutely adore soups. Winter, spring, summer, it doesn’t matter. Second, shrimp bisque is probably my favorite soup of all (although tomato bisque is right there with it). This recipe is sort of a mish mash of all the flavors I found great in shrimp bisques that I’ve tried. The vegetables in the soup prevent it from tasting overly fishy, while the cream adds that distinctive creaminess, and the cayenne pepper give the soup a little bite.

Shrimp Bisque

Olive Oil
2 Leeks, green and white parts coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, chunked
1 Onion, chunked
2 Celery Stalks, chunked
3 cloves Garlic, smashed
¼ Cup Brandy
¼ Cup Dry Sherry
4 Cups Seafood Stock
4 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 lbs Shrimp, peeled and veined
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2 Cups Half & Half (or Cream, if you want it really rich)
3 Tbs Tomato Paste

Begin by sautéing the leeks, carrots, onion, and celery with some olive oil. After the veggies begin to brown up, add in the garlic, toss around. Add the Brandy, and stir until the alcohol evaporates. Repeat with the sherry, and then add the seafood stock. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to cook on a simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Bring the soup up to a full boil, add the shrimp, and then remove from heat. Stir the soup until the shrimp are cooked and pink, about 5 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a processor, and store in a separate container from the pot it was cooking in.

In the original soup pot, melt the butter, add the flour, and whisk until the roux comes together. Add the half & half, along with the shrimp soup puree and whisk until it begins to thicken. Whisk in the tomato paste and serve bubbling hot with a few flash seared shrimps!

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