Spicy Shrimp Bisque

Spicy Shrimp Bisque

While the shrimp for this velvety smooth, slightly spicy bisque did not sleep in the ocean last night, they did recently sleep in the waters off South Carolina near Kiawah Island, so are bona fide wild shrimp. Although many pureed soups are called bisques, the classic bisque is made from seafood, typically shrimp, although lobster and crab can be used. Where the term "bisque" came from is up for debate, but the soup is definitely of French origin.  Traditionally, the unshelled seafood is sautéed in a heavy saucepan, an aromatic broth added and when cooked, the entire mixture is pureed, shells and all. The concoction is then popped back in the saucepan with the addition of heavy cream for a lovely smooth pureed soup. Modern versions only use the shells to flavor the broth with rice or bread crumbs along with the cream for thickening.

Ingredients

  • While the shrimp for this velvety smooth, slightly spicy bisque did not sleep in the ocean last night, they did recently sleep in the waters off South Carolina near Kiawah Island, so are bona fide wild shrimp. Although many pureed soups are called bisques, the classic bisque is made from seafood, typically shrimp, although lobster and crab can be used. Where the term "bisque" came from is up for debate, but the soup is definitely of French origin.  Traditionally, the unshelled seafood is sautéed in a heavy saucepan, an aromatic broth added and when cooked, the entire mixture is pureed, shells and all. The concoction is then popped back in the saucepan with the addition of heavy cream for a lovely smooth pureed soup. Modern versions only use the shells to flavor the broth with rice or bread crumbs along with the cream for thickening.
  • Pureed soups are delicious, but I like my soup to have some substance and added spice. After shelling and deveining the shrimp, reserving the shells as well as the shrimp, I sautéed the shells in a mirepoix of onions, carrots, and garlic, then added a fish broth along with tomatoes, tomatillos and my favorite smoky chili, minced chipotes en adobo. After straining the broth through a sieve and discarding the shells, I added half the reserved shrimp and when cooked, pureed the soup with an electric hand blender. The remaining shrimp was chopped and added to cook briefly before serving, thus making the finished product a combination of a bisque and a chowder. 
  • Spicy Shrimp Bisque
  • Adapted from Williams Sonoma Soup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tomatillos, coarsely chopped
  • 1 chipotle en adobo with added sauce, chopped
  • 4 cups fish stock, prepared clam broth or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional
  • Salt  to taste
  • Pinch cayenne or Old Bay
Read the whole recipe on Cafe Lynnylu