Shrimp Bisque

Bisque is a French style soup, usually creamy and generally made from some seafood or fish. It is a strained soup, which means that most of the solids are removed prior to serving – not the shrimp though. To make it right you have to start with fresh fish stock, but unless you live near an ocean with access to fresh fish carcasses, you’ll have to settle for processed fish stock that you can find in specialty stores. You will need a good sieve to strain out the solids at the end of the process.


  • 2 lbs shrimp – shell on, thawed
  • 1 qt Fish stock
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion – sliced
  • 1 Celery stalk – large, sliced
  • 1 Carrot – small, sliced
  • 1 Garlic head – cut in half crosswise
  • 1 Tomato – large, sliced
  • 2 oz Tomato paste
  • 2 TBL Tarragen – chopped
  • 2 TBL Thyme – chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 8 Peppercorns – whole
  • 4 oz Brandy
  • 4 oz Sherry
  • 4 oz Heavy cream
  • 2 tsp Corn Starch
  • 1 TBL Water


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting
  2. Saute the shrimp in olive oil until the shells and meat turn pink, ~3 mins
  3. Remove shrimp and place in a large bowl to cool. Remove meat from shells and coarsely chop shells.
  4. Reheat oil and add back the shells. Add onion, celery, carrot, tomato, tomato paste, herbs and peppercorns.
  5. Reduce heat slightly. Stir and cook until tomato paste turns to a deep rust.
  6. Stir in brandy and Sherry and boil until most has evaporated.
  7. Add fish stock and and 2 cups of water.
  8. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  9. Transfer soup to food processor and puree until shells are coarsely ground.
  10. Strain soup through sieve.
  11. Discard solids and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to 1 quart.
  12. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer.
  13. Add salt to taste.
  14. Dissolve corn starch in water then add to soup.
  15. Boil until slightly thickened.
  16. Cut shrimp into smaller pieces and add into the soup and heat through.
  17. Serve.