Bread Bowls Pt. 3- Shrimp Bisque
Shrimp Bisque was the first bisque I ever learned how to make. I wanted to make something with seafood that I’d never made before. I started combing every recipe book I owned from Giada, Tyler, Ina, Betty Crocker, Better Homes…. Finally, I came to a book I’d never opened before. You have those. The ones you thought were a good idea at the time, but never used, or the one someone who thought they knew you bought for you, and you looked at it and said, “I would never make any of this,” or the one you flip threw and swear you’ll cook from, but never get around to that book. Well, this one came from a 1992 Campbell’s recipe book.
Any recipe book can be helpful to have around. My favorite thing about cookbooks is that they’re great inspiration to find a good idea, or an awesome recipe, then create shortcakes or tweek it to your own personal tastes. Even if you don’t find a recipe in a particular book, it can always give you ideas for creating your own unique meal. I love looking at books and saying, “I don’t have that ingredient, but, OH, I have this and it’d be great!”
The original recipe for this bisque is very good. Of course, I change it up slightly. It calls for fresh parsley, which I never use. Where I live, it’s just to hard to find some fresh herbs in our commissary. You can use dried parsley for garnishing if you’d like, but it’s good either way.
It also calls for a can of condensed chicken broth, but I use homemade broth or the regular boxed broth I normally use. It’s whatever I have on hand. I always have the bouillon cubes, and now they have small packets of condensed stock. Any of that will work.
The thing I like best about this recipe is that it has a chicken broth base, not a tomato base. I have made tomato based bisques before, but, like caramel, they frighten me. Hahaha, I don’t know why. Some things, no matter how good they are or how well they turn out, they strike a fewar in me that won’t go away. Tomato based bisques are one of these things. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to whipping up sauces, gravies and soups with beef or chicken, or even fish bases.In any event, this bisque has been a hit with anyone I’ve served it to. Even my mother-in-law, who, when I told her what was for dinner turned to me and said, “Well, I’m not really a bisque person. I’ll just try a small bowl.” She had two.
This is my take on the “Creamy Shrimp Bisque” recipe from my Campbell’s recipe book. It makes about 4 cups of bisque.
- 4 TBSP Butter
- 1 C Mushrooms, sliced (any will do)
- 1 C Green Onions, sliced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 lb shrimp, raw, deveined, shelled (I also remove the tails. It’s a pet peeve of mine)
- 2-3 C Chicken Broth
- 1/4 C Flour
- 1/2 C Milk or light cream
- 1/3 C Dry White Wine
- *Optional- 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, more or less to your heat’s desire
Start by melting 3 TBSP of butter in a medium pot. Once melted, add mushrooms, 1/2 C of the green onions, *crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and cook on med/med-low until they begin to soften. You don’t want the onions or garlic to brown because it changes the flavor and you’re going for a fresh and light taste to this bisque.
Once the veggies have softened, add the chicken broth and shrimp and bring the pot to a boil. It doesn’t take long for shrimp to cook, so keep an eye on it. Your pot and it’s contents are already hot, so it will come to a boil quickly. (I mentioned earlier that I take the tails off my shrimp. It’s easiest to do this if you let the frozen shrimp sit in cold water for about 20 minutes, or let them sit on the counter for about 30-40 minutes. They will still be cold, but this will remove any ice and make things easier. Grab the body of the shrimp in one hand and gently tug. With the other hand, grip the very bottom of the tail above the two tiny fins at the end. Pinch and pull in the opposite direction of the body. The tail should slide right off. It just annoys me to have dishes hampered by having to stop and separate the tail when you’re trying to enjoy a dish.)
While your shrimp cook, combine the flour and cream into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Pour directly into your pot as soon as your shrimp begins boiling and stir. This thickens your bisque. Bring it back up to a boil, then, reduce it to a simmer.
Add the wine, last TBSP of butter and other 1/4 C of green onions. Stir until the bisque is heated through. Remove from heat and serve, garnishing with the remaining 1/4 C green onions.
I also like to garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes (if I didn’t put many in already.) You can also use the original recipe’s parsley. This recipe is perfect as a cold winter day warmer, or a fresh, clean, summer day seafood starter or quick, light lunch. Either way, the key to this recipe is to have everything chopped or sliced or poured into a prep dish, so all you have to do is dump it into the pot when the time comes. It truly makes this soup a 15 minute or less meal.
Try it with fresh jumbo shrimp and garnish with fresh herbs.