It’s just starting to turn chilly as summer turns to autumn. I’ve been eating seasonal fresh salads for months, and now I am ready for a bit of indulgence. This is what I yearn for when the days are getting shorter, colder and darker: a big bowl of luxuriously rich shrimp bisque.
Bisque refers to a particular type of soup: a pureed seafood soup made with cream. Shrimp or lobster is the typical star of a bisque. The meaning of the term has broadened in recent years to include creamy pureed vegetable soups as well.
Have your fish monger peel and devein the shrimp, making sure to separate and keep the shells. You can use smaller sized shrimp to make this dish more affordable. While this dish requires a number of utensils and pans, it can be put together in under an hour. The shells are cooked, pureed and strained to give this soup extra shrimp flavor. Serve this with warm crusty French bread and a simple green salad. A crisp, chilled sauvignon blanc or California chardonnay will pair nicely with the rich shrimp flavor.
Serves 6 to 8
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 pounds raw shrimp, weighed first and then peeled and deveined, separating the shrimp from the shells
4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 cups fish stock, chicken stock or water
1/2 cup very fine fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish
1. In a medium soup pot heat the butter on medium heat until melted. Add the onion, carrot and garlic; saute for about 2 minutes or until very slightly softened. Add the shrimp shells and continue to saute for about 5 more minutes or until the shells are bright red and the vegetables are softened.
2. Add the tomatoes and the stock and cook about 5 more minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and the stock is very aromatic.
3. Transfer the mixture in batches to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer the processed mixture in batches to a strainer or a food mill that has been placed over a clean medium soup pot. Push the mixture through the strainer or turn the food mill to ensure none of the ground up shells get into the soup. You simply extract all the flavor into the soup pot.
4. Reserve about 24 shrimp to finish the soup, and add the remaining shrimp and breadcrumbs to the strained soup. Cook the soup on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the breadcrumbs have been absorbed. Using a hand blender, process the mixture, pureeing the shrimp with the broth until it is smooth. Alternately you can do this in the food processor or the blender.
5. Add the cream, sherry, salt and cayenne pepper to taste and heat for another 2 minutes to meld the flavors. Season to taste.
6. Cut the reserved shrimp into 1-inch pieces. Just before serving, add the remaining shrimp to the soup and cook for another minute or two, or until the shrimp are just cooked.
7. To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.
This article is written by Diane Rossen Worthington from Seriously Simple and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.