It’s getting kinda crisp for some of you, huh? Not for us yet, but I’m getting in the mood. Our family has a tendency to anxiously await what we call “soupy season”. And it’s October already, so despite our warm temperatures, I’m going for it. I’m thinking ahead to cool days and chilly nights, tummy-warming comfort food and family around the table. I’m also thinking this shrimp bisque completes that picture perfectly.
I found this recipe almost 20-some years ago in a big, thick holiday season cookbook I bought at Costco, called Treasury of Christmas. The recipe is simple and the steps easy, but there is nothing simple about this bisque. It is so creamy, so smooth, and so very luscious. Serve it in cup portions and it makes a great soup course before the main entrée. Or serve it as the main entrée itself. I’ve done both for dinner guests and it has never failed to get rave reviews.
So, are you ready to cook up a batch of bisque? Yeah? Well, let’s go then!
And maybe a dash of cayenne too. I don’t put much in, but I think it brings the half & half up a few levels of goodness.
Cutting your shrimp into thirds or fourths will make it cook faster as well as cream faster when it comes time for the food processor.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan and add the shrimp, garlic, and onion.
Don’t cook it too long. Just until the shrimp is pink with no more hint of translucence. Then remove it from the heat.
Stir the flour well into the cooked shrimp mixture. It makes a sort of solid roux.
Then add the chicken broth and stir well until the roux is completely dissolved.
Cook until it bubbles just a bit, stirring frequently, and turn off the heat.
It will have thickened into something resembling this. This is the flavor foundation of your bisque.
Pour the thickened soup into a large food processor (if yours is small, work it in batches) and process until you get a smooth mixture.
Make sure you scrape the pan really well when transferring to the food processor, but don’t get rid of the pan when you are done. You will be going back to it.
Pour the processed soup back into the sauce pan and add the half & half, the grated lemon peel, the white wine, the salt, and a dash or two of cayenne.
At this point, all you need to do is stir it somewhat frequently until the processed part is completely dissolved into the cream,giving it that bisque texture. Then keep stirring it until it is heated through. Don’t bring it to a boil, just get it nice and hot for serving.
Doesn’t it look silky and luscious?
Of course, the tureen is for your benefit, or for when I serve it to dinner guests. Our family just ladles it out of the pan. But that would not have made for a pretty picture. 🙂
I love it piping hot with a couple of chunks of fresh baguette. If you want to get more ambitious, garlic and Parmesan toasts work well too.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
- 1 pound of raw shrimp (21-25 ct), peeled and deveined
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups half & half
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Chop the shrimp into thirds or fourths.
- Heat a large sauce pan.
- Melt the butter.
- Add the shrimp, onion, and garlic.
- Sauté just until the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the flour, stirring to dissolve completely and form a roux mixture with the shrimp solids.
- Add the chicken broth and return to the flame.
- Stir frequently until the roux has been completely dissolved and the soup begins to lightly bubble. It will have thickened somewhat.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor.
- Process until the mixture is smooth and consistent.
- Return the processed soup to the pan.
- Add the half & half, wine, lemon peel, salt, and a couple of dashes of cayenne (optional)
- Stir everything until smooth and creamy.
- Cook just long enough to heat for serving.