Recipe for Shrimp Bisque - Creamy Shrimp Soup

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Recipe for Shrimp Bisque

Shrimp bisque is one of the great graces in life. Creamy, fragrant and just the very essence of shrimp - mmmm. It's divine!

Since I don't live on a coast, but rather in traffic lanes for transporting seafood (East Tennessee!), great seafood isn't on hand all the time, but we do get it occasionally at prices that don't just slaughter my budget. When I get my hands on great seafood, I like to work it for every drop of flavor. In this dish I made shrimp stock (easy) and used just a handful of ingredients to enhance the 'shrimpiness' that I wanted. I kept the broth simple, but it still just pops with flavor.

This is a method I grew up with - my mother and grandmother made bisques from great shellfish and fresh coastal fish when I was little - following the philosophy of using every speck of an ingredient to maximze flavor. It's quick to put together, and doens't use anything you probably don't already have in your pantry. So not only is it delicious, it's easy, and that's makes it Bombshell any day of the week.

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Recipe for Shrimp Bisque

You'll need:

  • 4 cups shrimp stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 4 Tbl butter
  • 4 Tbl flour
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 Tbl minced chives
  1. Over medium heat, bring shrimp stock, cream and cream cheese to a bare simmer.
  2. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese has melted and incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, make a buerre manie - that's just French for 'kneaded butter'. Mash the butter and flour together until you have a paste. This allows you to add flour to a hot liquid without getting lumps. Add the buerre manie to the hot stock, stirring well. Make sure you're keeping the stock at a bare simmer. Adjust heat as necessary. Add cayenne pepper.
  4. Add the shrimp to the stock, and simmer for about four minutes. Allow the stock to simmer since you need to make sure the flour is fully cooked, and that it has a chance to 'do its thing' for thickening.
  5. Remove from heat. To serve, I like to make a little shrimp island in a bowl, then surround it with the silky soup. Top with minced chives - and you're good to go!


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