There are many schools of thought about what precisely constitutes a ‘bisque.’ Some will argue it’s only for soup containing crustaceans, and others will say it pertains to the soup being thickened with rice. Either way, we’ve got you covered!
Seafood broth can be difficult to find, so we used chicken broth with clam juice, then fortified the flavor by cooking the shrimp shells in the stock. The result—light and beautiful shrimp broth!
Serve this soup recipe in a fancy homemade bread bowl!
Creamy Shrimp Bisque Recipe
- 1 lb medium shrimp, deveined and shell on
- 8 oz bottle clam juice
- 32 oz seafood broth, or chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup celery, very finely diced
- 1/4 cup carrot, very finely diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry sherry, VSOP brandy or dry white wine
- 3 Tbsp white rice, uncooked
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, or half-and-half
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse and peel shrimp reserving both the shrimp and shells. Add clam juice, broth and shrimp shells to a large saucepan then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Strain the broth into a heat-safe bowl, discarding shrimp shells. Set broth aside.
- Return saucepan to stovetop. Increase heat to medium then add butter. When butter has melted, add onion, celery, carrot and salt. Cook 4–5 minutes until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add sherry or brandy and cook until mostly evaporated.
- Add broth and uncooked rice then bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until rice is tender.
- Add shrimp then cook for about 1–2 minutes—depending on the size—just until heated through. If desired, remove a few shrimp for garnish and set aside. Purée soup, including the shrimp, until smooth, working in batches if necessary. If using a blender, do not fill the pitcher more than ⅓ full.
- Return puréed soup to the pot then whisk in tomato paste, cayenne pepper and heavy cream. Return soup to a simmer over low heat but do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle soup into bowls then garnish with reserved shrimp, garlicky croutons or just a sprinkle of parsley or black pepper.
This recipe makes a statement all on its own, but we don’t hate the idea of a grilled cheese sandwich and a fresh green salad served alongside it!