Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shrimp bisque

inspired by Lulu

I made this soup inspired by a wonderful Mexican shrimp soup and the various bisque recipes.

For 3-4 as a starter:
300g  raw shrimps in full shell, I got the big prawns
10-20g butter
a couple of table spoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped (0.5cm cubes)
1-2 stems of green celery, finely chopped (0.5cm cubes)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 table spoons tomato paste
100ml white wine (you can also use dry sherry)
ca 1-1.5 l fish fond or water
50-100ml 25% (or 35%) fat fresh cream
salt and a little chilli to season

Remove and rinse the shells, cut the backs of the shrimp and remove the dark tract.
Heat the butter (I added a little oil too) in a thick bottomed pan and cook the shells in it for a couple of minutes till all are pink.
Remove shells from the pan into a bowl - you will need them later.
Add 1 tbl spoon oil into the pan, heat on medium and fry the onions first for ca 2 minutes till they turn clear, add carrots, celery, garlicand fry for a few minutes.
Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for ca 5 min. Now add the shells back to the pan.
Splash the wine (sherry) in and reduce the liquid for 2-3 minutes.
Add the fish fond or water or a mixture of both and simmer for 30 minutes.
When the vegetables are soft and the liquid has taken a rusty colour I took out the shells and used a blender to purée the soup. The other method is to wring everything through a cloth or press through a sieve as much as possible.
Heat a little oil in another pan, cut the shrimp/prawn into smaller bite-size pieces and fry with a little chilli if you are looking for a spicier taste. The shrimp should be fried only for a short time to avoid turning chewy.
Now put the shrimp/prawn into the soup and add the cream. Bring to boil.
Season with salt.

If you wish you can make some croutons by taking a couple of slices of white bread, cutting a garlic clove in two and rubbing the bread on both sides, sprinkling a little olive oil on the cubes, then frying in a pan or toasting them in the oven turning them from time to time.