Shrimp Bisque

Barefoot Bloggers made Ina's Shrimp Bisque and are posting it today. The weather is perfect for this delicious soup! Three cheers for Jennifer of Our Blessed Home for selecting a recipe that would be a perfect match for our cold winter weather.

The recipe came from Barefoot Contessa as Home by Ina Garten. Everybody needs to have Ina's books in their library! They are a great resource. The recipe is also available here at Food Network.

The idea of pureeing beautiful large shrimp was one that was difficult. Why would I want to puree such pretty, succulent shrimp? Well, I did not puree all of them. You can see that some just did not make it into the blender!

I must admit, though, that the end result was pretty tasty. The Kitchen Gnome gave it two thumbs up. He has managed to eat it again, for lunch and dinner, too! That says something.

Shrimp Bisque

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups seafood stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.

Ina's recipes are pretty consistent...I base that on the recipes that I have tried from each of her books. I followed the bisque recipe as written. I happen to like my bisque with a little more of a spicy taste to it so I would either increase the cayenne next time, or use half tomato paste and half cocktail sauce.


  1. You did a great job with this dish. I love your photo with the black and white polka dot napkin in the background. This was a great soup even though I couldn't make it this time around.

  2. I love shrimp bisque. What a gorgeous picture with the shrimp propped up there showing off his beauty. Ina's recipes always work for me and you did a terrific job with this recipe.

  3. Kate..I bet it's bon bon bon.. May I ask if you made the seafood stock or bought.. can you recommend a good one..

  4. as a rule, i'll end up adding more cayenne to a given recipe--i like my food spicy! this looks so creamy and smooth and decadent--nicely done.

  5. Well, Dagnabbit! Once again, I missed making another BB's recipe. I really, REALLY wanted to make this one, but ... work is totally nuts! I love this cookbook. So glad to hear it's as good as it sounded. I bristled at the idea of pureeing shrimp, too. Smart move, Kate. Looks so purty!

  6. Same question as Monique..I made mine the last time, and really, I just didn't have enough shells to make it rich. I didn't have heads..:( either!
    Is it creamy..I like it that way..
    Yours looks the pic..
    Come see who my son met the other related..
    I am back..don't know for how long..Dell has all my money and a day's time..:(

  7. Monique and Kathleen - I cheated. I used seafood stock from the box. I did simmer the shrimp shells in it, though. (Kitchen Choice was what was available in the, that was my choice!)

  8. Fabulous! I wish I could have some but allergies all of a sudden a few years ago! and I do know what I'm missing! Your bisque looks delicious!

  9. Jate, shrimp bisque is one of my all-time favorites. Thanks for posting this. It sounds delicious.

  10. Oh my gosh, Kate, this sounds fantastic. I love Ina's recipes and am never disappointed. I'm trying this one for sure. Brandy and sherry...yum.

  11. I love the sound of this recipe! Mmmmm. Sherry and cognac! I adore lobster bisque so how could I not like shrimp bisque? And anything Ina does I usually am mad for. Going to make this for my next dinner party!
    (I think it looks lovely to place a couple whole shrimp in the bowl.)

  12. This looks like a delightful dish! It looks like you did Ina proud with this one! :0)

  13. I have never had a Ina Garten recipe that I did not really enjoy-your shrimp bisque is no exception. Love it.

  14. I love this photo! The whole shrimp is really pretty sitting on top of the bisque. This sounds perfect for a cold day--hearty, warming, and delicious.

  15. you+your blog+ina = immediate follower... x pam

  16. Definitely a favorite of mine. Yours looks wonderful.

  17. Since we just had our 13th blizzard of the season, Shrimp Bisque sounds just about perfect right now!


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