Comfort Foods: Shrimp Bisque A Southern Classic

Florence Carmela

This simple, shrimp bisque recipe is a southern classic. Thick and creamy pureed French soup only takes 45 minutes to make. It can be made with shellfish of any kind, such as shrimp, crab, lobster or a combination of all three to make a seafood bisque. This recipe includes spices, heavy cream, butter and shrimp along with a little cognac.

Here is the history of seafood bisque and where it originated along with the simple, yet flavorful Shrimp Bisque Recipe.


1 pound of frozen shrimp

3 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot

1 onion

A few garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf and sprigs of fresh parsley

Some brandy or Cognac and/or dry white wine

Chicken broth, plus extra

Unsalted butter

Half and half (or light cream)

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper


Saute Vegetables and Puree Them

In a non -stick skillet, or a medium-size saucepan, on moderate heat, saute the vegetables with 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil. Add the fresh thyme, bay leaf, and some parsley and cook until the vegetables softened, and the onions are golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine, brandy and 1/2 cup of chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, and transfer the mixture to a blender (allow the mixture to cool down a little) and blend it to puree.

Make Cream Sauce

In a medium-size saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Add salt and flour, and a dash of cayenne pepper and whisk until well blended.

Slowly whisk in the half and half and the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, continue to simmer on low heat, stirring until it thickened. Then turn off the heat.

Cook Shrimp

Using the same skillet.  Saute the shrimp in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not overcook.  

Remove from stove, and toss 1/2 of the shrimp (about 10 pieces) into the blender, along with an additional 1/4 cup of chicken broth and blend at high speed to puree the mixture. 

Reserve the remaining shrimp to add on top of each bisque when serving.  

Combine the Bisque

Transfer the shrimp mixture to the saucepan with the cream sauce and stir to combine.

Turn on the heat and heat thoroughly.

Then ladle into soup bowls and serve with a couple of sauteed shrimp on top.

Sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley and some fresh cracked pepper, and serve immediately.

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Florence Carmela is a Writer, Celebrity Interviewer and Host of The Forum Celebrity Podcast. She is Verified on @Twitter & @MuckRack

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