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.
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.