Today’s shrimp bisque recipe is a fool-proof guide to a creamy, savory supper that’s stuffed with intense flavors from the juicy tender shrimp, shrimp stock, heaps of fresh produce, and aromatic spices. It’s exceedingly pleasant with zero fuss to make!
What Is Bisque?
Bisque is a thick, creamy soup that’s made with crustacean-flavored stock and a flour-based roux. In French, “bisque” literally means “crayfish soup”. However, some people believe it also refers to the Bay of Biscay lying along the western coast of France, where this dish seemingly originated.
Bisque is known for its creamy, velvety, chowder-like texture and a beautiful orangey shade. Either lobster, crab, or shrimp is used as the flavor base of a tasty bisque.
Bisque vs Soup
Although bisque looks a lot like a seafood chowder or soup, it’s not as chunky.
A bisque should be velvety smooth as it’s usually thickened with heavy cream and flour. It also doesn’t have potatoes, carrots, or bacon, like most soups often require.
Is Shrimp Bisque Healthy?
Shrimp is a good source of protein, with beneficial minerals including iodine, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium. Being low-calorie and super versatile in cooking, shrimp is an amazing choice in a wide range of dishes as it’s easy to work with and can keep you fueled without being overwhelmed.
Shrimp has disease-fighting potential as it may:
- Improve bone health.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease thanks to having omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
- Help with diabetes, gastrointestinal, renal, skin, and eye diseases thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin, an antioxidant in the shrimp that helps protect against free radical damage.
- Help with thyroid disease thanks to having iodine and selenium – minerals that help maintain normal thyroid function.
Ingredients for Shrimp Bisque
Shrimp is an easy-going crustacean. With today’s recipe, we’ll cook the peeled raw shrimp with a spice mix of salt, pepper, and paprika. We’ll also flavor the stock with the shrimp shells.
Go for any size of shrimp that’s convenient for you. Also, feel free to combine shrimp with your favorite seafood, for example, lobster, scallops, or fish.
- Flavoring agents
For shrimp bisque, a chef’s personal preference sets one recipe apart from another. We didn’t want to stray too far from the original version, so here are all the ingredients needed to recreate the fancy tastes of this dish:
- Celery, thyme, yellow onions, and garlic add a slight pungency and a delicate earthiness to the soup, especially when sautéed.
- Bay leaf adds an aromatic and mildly minty taste.
- When combined in the stockpot, flour, shrimp stock, and heavy cream somehow create a roux that helps thicken the bisque while adding extra depth of flavor. Heavy cream also imparts a silky, luxurious feel. If you don’t feel like using all-purpose flour, gluten-free substitutes would be arrowroot powder, cornstarch, and tapioca starch.
- Butter intensifies the dish with its intriguing buttery flavor. Working together with the heavy cream when simmering, these two create a wonderful medley for the flavor base of the bisque.
- White wine pairs well with the juicy shrimp as it provides an acidity kick and a crisp finish that cuts through the richness of this dish.
- Tomato paste and paprika add a wonderful richness and give the bisque a lovely bright color.
How to Make Shrimp Bisque
Today’s shrimp bisque recipe is a fool-proof guide to a creamy, savory soup that’s stuffed with fresh shrimp, heaps of fresh produce, and aromatic spices. Here are all the steps to follow:
In a stockpot, sauté shrimp shells in olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, carrots, and bay leaf to the stockpot. Sauté for 3 minutes.
Add water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Fish out the shrimp shells and discard them. Transfer the shrimp stock to a bowl and set it aside.
In the same stockpot, sauté shrimp with spices.
Save 1/3 of the cooked shrimp in a separate bowl for topping.
Add the veggies and butter to the stockpot. Sauté until fragrant.
Add tomato paste and cooked shrimp, stir quickly for 30 seconds.
Add white wine and cook for 30 seconds.
Add flour and toss to combine.
Add the shrimp stock.
Add heavy cream. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn it down to low.
Turn off the heat. Use a hand blender to purée the bisque to velvety smooth.
Portion out. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy it hot.
How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Bisque Last in Fridge
Shrimp bisque can be made ahead, as it can last for up to 4 days under refrigeration. The flavor gets more intense the longer it sits in the fridge.
Our savory soup is also freezable. Simply allow it to cool completely, then put it into airtight containers and freeze. These leftover portions can freeze well for up to 6 months!
Best Way to Reheat Cooked Shrimp
Before reheating, thaw the leftover portions in the fridge overnight (if they have been frozen). On the day of serving, reheat the bisque on the stovetop.
To reheat, turn on medium-low heat and slow-simmer the shrimp bisque in a stockpot or a saucepan until warmed through to wake up the flavors and restore the texture. Make sure you don’t leave it on the heat for too long or else it could reach the boiling point and become too thick.
What to Serve With Shrimp Bisque
Our shrimp bisque serves best as a hearty main dish, pairing with a small side dish of choice. You can also enjoy it as an appetizer or a light brunch with a slice of crusty bread and a green salad.
- Garlic Bread: Scrumptious with a garlicky flavor and done in 10 minutes with simple ingredients, our garlic bread complements the complexity and creaminess of shrimp bisque perfectly. It’s a quick, easy, last-minute side dish that makes a great choice for any big meal.
- Carrot Orange Ginger Juice: A bright-colored drink with sweet, vibrant summer flavors to keep you nourished. Ginger and mint pair with orange and carrot to complete this drink with cooling notes. It’s best served ice-cold as a refreshingly crisp side beverage.
Shrimp Bisque Recipe
- 30 oz raw shrimp including 15 oz peeled and deveined shrimp, and 15 oz shells reserved for stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 oz carrots largely sliced
- 2 oz yellow onion largely sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 6 oz yellow onion diced
- 6 oz carrots diced
- 2 oz celery diced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Hunt’s tomato paste
- 4 fl oz white wine
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 fl oz heavy cream
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- Make the shrimp stock: In a stockpot, sauté 15 oz shrimp shells in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
- Add 2 oz largely sliced yellow onion, 2 oz largely sliced carrots, and 1 bay leaf to the stockpot. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use a fine-mesh sieve to fish out the shrimp shells and discard them. Transfer the shrimp stock to a bowl and set it aside.
- In the same stockpot, sauté 15 oz peeled and deveined shrimp, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp paprika in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 4 minutes.
- Remove 1/3 of the cooked shrimp to a separate bowl and save for topping later.
- Continue to add 6 oz diced yellow onion, 6 oz diced carrots, 2 oz celery, and 1 tbsp unsalted butter to the stockpot. Sauté for 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 1 tbsp tomato paste and cooked shrimp, stir quickly for 30 seconds.
- Add 4 fl oz white wine and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and toss to combine.
- Add the shrimp stock.
- Add 3 fl oz heavy cream. Bring the pot to a boil (about 25 minutes), then turn it down to low heat for a minute.
- Turn off the heat. Use a hand blender to purée the bisque to velvety smooth.
- Portion out. Garnish the bisque with 2 tbsp parsley. Enjoy it hot.