Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shrimp Bisque

OK, I have to admit.  I did post this once before, about a year ago.  But it is absolutely one of my favorite soups that I make.  There is an incredible depth of flavor thanks in part to the stock, sherry, and cognac.

Please don't let the list of ingredients put you off.  Have everything ready and this comes together in a snap. 

FYI.....I always keep my shrimp shells and just throw them in a ziplock bag until I have enough to make a batch of shrimp stock.  I put them in a stockpot along with some diced onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, some S&P and a bouquet garni (if I have it on hand), bring to a boil, and let it simmer for an hour or so.  Then I drain it through a cheesecloth and put two cups of stock in a freezer bag and freeze it so I always have some on hand.  This recipe provides instructions on making a small batch with the shrimp shells you have.

SHRIMP BISQUE (4 servings)

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined, reserve shells
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups stock (shrimp or chicken....I strongly recommend shrimp)
2 cups water
1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, juice saved
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp cognac or brandy
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup arborio rice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp cognac or brandy
2/3 cup heavy cream
S&P to taste
1/2 lemon (juiced)
Chopped parsley or chives for garnish, optional
Bread bowls, optional

Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the garlic and shrimp shells and cook for 2 minutes (omit the shells if you are using your own stock).  Add the flour and stir it for one minute.

Add the stock, water, tomatoes, sherry, brandy, thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

Strain the liquid into another sauce pan and discard the solids.  Add the rice, tomato paste, and paprika.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked, about 20-30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a pan.  Add the shrimp and saute until just cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Add the wine and deglaze the pan.

Add half of the shrimp and the juices to the soup and puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  Add the remaining shrimp, sherry, brandy, and cream and heat to serve.

Season with S&P and lemon juice.  Serve in a bread bowl, if desired.  Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.

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