Rustic Shrimp Bisque

Rustic Shrimp Bisque

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 1

    pound medium or large uncooked

  • shrimp, shelled, shells reserved

  • 6

    tblsps unsalted butter

  • tsps kosher salt, more to taste

  • cup dry white wine

  • 2

    tblps brandy

  • 3

    thyme sprigs

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 2

    celery ribs, chopped

  • 2

    large leeks, white and light green

  • parts only, chopped

  • 2

    garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1

    fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds

  • reserved for garnish

  • ¼

    cup long-grain rice

  • 2

    tblsp tomate paste

  • Pinch cayenne

  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste


1. In a large pot over high heat, cook shrimp shells in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently until lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Add wine and brandy and boil until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add 6 cups water, thyme and bay leaf and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain shrimp stock into bowl, pressing on shells before discarding them. 2. In same pot, melt 2 tablespoons buttter with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp and saute until they are pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending on size. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to bowl. 3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons to pot, along with celery, leeks, garlic and fennel and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, tomato paste, cayenne and remaining salt and saute for 2 minutes. Add shrimp stock and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. 4. Set aside 4 to 6 nice looking shrimp and stir remainder into bisque; let cook for 2 minutes. Working carefully and in batches, pour bisque into blender and process into a smooth puree or pulse to a chunky mixture, as you like. (You may use an immersion blender to puree soup.) Stir in lemon juice and additional salt to taste. Reheat if necessary before serving. Garnish each bowl with a shrimp and a piece of fennel frond.


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