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Shrimp Bisque

January 30, 2010

Ten Days of Soup! ~Katy~

I had to get this recipe in before our soup-o-rama was over. It’s another recipe from Oprah Magazine that I ripped out years ago. It’s got very little butter and doesn’t give you gut-rot due to over-richness. I know, it sounds like it could be a dud, but it’s got excellent flavor.  

The tomatoes make it lighter than most bisques, and there isn’t a ton of artery-blocking cream in this recipe, either. I served it at a dinner party last night to rave reviews. In fact, everyone went home with leftover soup (I doubled the recipe). A great starter-soup that won’t overwhelm your dinner guests and will leave room for more courses.

Shrimp and Basil Bisque

Stock can be made a day or two in advance, stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.


1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, shell on

2/3 cup dry sherry

1 bay leaf

1 lemon, halved

¼ cup basil stems (reserve leaves for soup)


3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bay leaf

3 Tablespoons long-grain rice

1 can (14.5 oz.) chopped tomatoes

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

¾ cups heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. To make shrimp stock: Preheat oven to 400. Peel and devein shrimp; reserve shells and tails. Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use. Place reserved shrimp shells on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until crisp and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully pour sherry onto the baking sheet; scrape with a spatula to deglaze and remove all the bits of shrimp from the pan. Pour shells and sherry into a stockpot; add 5 cups water and the bay leaf. Squeeze lemon juice into the pot; add lemon rind and basil stims. Bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain stock and discard solids.

2. To make soup: In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add onion, carrots and celery to pot and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf and rice. Cook 20 minutes over medium heat. Add tomatoes and basil leaves and cook 10 more minutes. Return shrimp to pot *; cook 2 more minutes.

3. Remove bay leaf. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or puree in small batches in a food processor fitted with knife blade, then return to pot). Add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

*I set 6 shrimp aside for the garnish.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2010 7:36 am

    I love that one lone shrimp on top holding what looks like a little basil flag….so yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. January 30, 2010 2:46 pm

    Oh YES, I have a few pounds of shrimp in the freezer too. If I can get the hubby to agree, this will be on the table for Sunday dinner!

  3. January 30, 2010 6:42 pm

    I think I will have this as a main!

  4. January 30, 2010 6:48 pm

    Loved your 10 days of soup, the shrimp bisque looks yummy.

  5. January 31, 2010 3:36 am

    I just found you and these incredible soups. I have to come back, when I have a bit more time and read more slowly. Looks like it could keep me in soups for the year.

  6. February 2, 2010 7:53 pm

    katy, I have had my share of shrimp dishes and bisques, this one sounds out of sight … nice and thick, love adding the basil

  7. February 4, 2010 1:13 am

    this sounds deliciously fresh and light.

  8. February 4, 2010 9:19 am

    Gorgeous soup!

  9. lvegas permalink
    February 4, 2010 9:50 am

    This doesn’t sound like a dud at all, in fact, it sounds heavenly. I’ve been using sherry a lot in all of my cooking lately. It’s amazing what it does for a recipe. It’s particularly good in cream soups and sauces.

    • February 5, 2010 8:57 am

      Yes, the sherry gives a lot of flavor which is one of the reasons this bisque doesn’t need a ton of butter and cream. You can save all of that fat up for Super Bowl Sunday treats!

  10. February 6, 2010 10:35 am

    Now that is a nice looking soup!

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