If you don’t live in the Deep South you probably don’t make a bisque.  You may not even know what it is. According to Wikipedia,

A Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crawfish.


While you may think this is just a soup it is much more than that.  It is creamy, full of meat, and perfect on a cold winter day.  Did I say it was also delicious?

    ½ cup butter
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup chopped yellow onion
    ¼ cup chopped celery
    ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    2 cups half-and-half
    8½ cups Shrimp Stock, recipe follows
    ¼ cup brandy
    5 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp

    Garnish: dry sherry, chopped fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring constantly, 7 minutes.

In the container of a blender, combine onion mixture and half-and-half. Blend until smooth and return to Dutch oven.

Add Shrimp Stock, brandy, tomato paste, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of sherry and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with French bread. {Notice there is no French Bread with the bisque. I served mine with Okra and Corn Fritters (recipe coming)

The magazine also has the recipe for the shrimp stock but I used my own.

    10 cups Seafood Stock
    shells and heads from 5 lb peeled shrimp
    1 cup sliced yellow onion
    1/2 cup celery, cut into pieces
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 tsp Tony’s Seasoning
    2 tsp coarsely grated pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain for a clear broth.

I use seafood stock because it adds a more wonderful flavor. If you cannot find seafood broth, use veggie broth or 10 cups water.

This was filling, comforting, and so full of flavor. Definitely something to make when it’s rainy and cold outside. OR why wait for that kind of weather…..

For the month of March I am using Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for Cookbook Countdown.

The recipe is from Louisiana Cookin’ Sept/Oct 2013 but it is also online at Louisiana Cookin’.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.