Bonjour and ooh la la!
What is a bisque? Well, it's delicious, I know that. But as for what differentiates a bisque from any other soup, I didn't really know...so I looked it up. According to the internet, a bisque is a rich, cream soup of French origin, usually made with shellfish and thickened with pureed rice. That sounds pretty much exactly like the soup that I made this afternoon - a shrimp bisque. I felt kind of, I dunno,
Nothing is wasted...the shells are boiled to get every bit of delicious flavour from them before the mixture is strained to become your shrimp broth. This step gives the soup such a rich flavour. It takes a bit of time to remove the shells from all of the shrimp and then to devein each and every one, but as soon as you throw the shells into the pot and add the butter - wowee! The Hubby and I were holding the pot up to our noses just to get a deeper whiff.
I highly recommend investing in an immersion blender if you don't have one already. Once again today it made everything a cinch by reducing the fuss during the pureeing stage of the recipe. Alternatively you could just transfer in batches to a blender and puree there, but having the ability to puree the bisque right in the pot is very convenient.
I can't believe that it's Week 13 of Souper Sunday already, and I feel like I'm just getting started with it! I have so many soup recipes still to try. To view some of the recent Souper Sunday soups, click here to go to the Souper Sunday page. My favourites from January and February are below:
Curried Chicken and Rice Soup Italian Sausage Soup
Have a great week everyone!
Serves: 4 - 6
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 pound medium shrimp (about 45), peeled, deveined, shells reserved
- 2 bay leaves, divided
- 2 carrots, peeled then chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Mince the 4 reserved shrimp and mix together with the chives in a small bowl.