Speaking of yummy soup recipes, I’ve been working with Clifford Wright on a new book called The Best Soups in the World, so I got to try out this Shrimp Bisque before the book was published. It’s not just good, it’s insanely good.
Cliff’s new book was just published, and I’m really excited to try more of the recipes. Here’s a little teaser for you, in case you want to try the bisque yourself.
This bisque is adapted from a recipe by Taunt Nit of Forked Island, Louisiana, who says that it is sometimes called white shrimp stew. Make sure the milk never comes to a boil, or it may curdle. If it does you can correct it somewhat by blending in some beurre manié, a blend of equal parts soft butter and fl our, to thicken it again. You can serve this with corn bread or oyster crackers. Crab, crayfish, or lobster may be substituted for the shrimp.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2½ pounds fresh shrimp with their heads or 1¼ pounds defrosted headless shrimp, heads and/or tails removed and saved for making broth if desired or ¾ pound raw shelled shrimp
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon hot paprika
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the fl our and once it is blended in, pour in the milk in a slow stream, whisking gently the whole time. Add the salt, Tabasco sauce, paprika, white pepper, and lemon juice. Bring to just below a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.