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4.25 from 8 votes

Shrimp Bisque

I don't remember when or where I was when I was first introduced to Lobster Bisque. I know I was young, and I think it was at a restaurant in San Francisco, but I do know I loved it. I've pretty much always loved anything called "Bisque".

Bisques are basically a seafood soup, with cream. The idea is, you extract every last little bit of flavor from every aspect of the sea dwelling animal.

I'm not sure why I opted to go with a shrimp bisque, rather than a lobster one. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter much. The recipe and method is roughly the same. In all cases ... the end result is ... WONDERFUL!

Note: In the picture, I garnished with a local sweet chili based sea salt that a local vendor from our local organic farmer's market sells. You can garnish with a tiny whisper of paprika mixed with sea salt for a similar effect. It's nice and tasty, with a very very fine little "crunch". Also, usually a small amount of shrimp or lobster is used as the garnish. I used 2 nice plump shrimps, seasoned and sautéed with a little butter.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 359.47875kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 16 each large shrimp peeled and deveined (save the shells)
  • 1/4 cup fresh whole butter (half a stick) divided
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion peeled and diced
  • 4 each garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 2 cups cream heavy whipping
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat in a small stock pot.
  • Add the shrimp shells and cook until they are bright red and the ammonia odor from the shells has been removed. Stir quickly, as they will burn. About 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaf, lemon juice and water.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the water has reduced to approximately 1 cup.
  • Strain and reserve the liquid. Throw away the shells.
  • In a medium soup pot, over medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic with 1 tbsp butter. Stir until translucent. About 3 minutes.
  • Add the brandy and cook for 3 more minutes. May catch fire, so be careful. The flame will not last long and won't burn terribly hot, but it can be a quick pop of flame.
  • Add the shrimp stock, tomatoes, peppers, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the cream to the soup base and bring to JUST before it simmers. It should be hot, but never boil.
  • While the cream is heating in the soup, quickly sauté the shrimps over high heat in the 2 remaining tbsp of butter. Season the shrimps with salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes. They should still be very slightly translucent and not overcooked or rubbery. Take the hot shrimps and lock them into pairs, as garnish. You should have 8 pairs of interlocked shrimps.
  • Add the soup to a blender and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the soup into eight warmed soup bowls and garnish with shrimp.


Serving: 8g | Calories: 359.47875kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.13625g | Protein: 12.97375g | Fat: 28.64g | Fiber: 0.52125g