Monday, February 14, 2011

Shrimp Bisque with Sherry

I woke up Valentine's day morning still fighting my chest cold and cough.  I decided the best way to fight it would be with a nice spicy soup.

Soup season is almost over in DC.  Today the temperature got up over 60.  I'm definitely not complaining!

I really enjoyed making the shrimp stock for this recipe.  I'd never made my own stock before, nevermind shrimp stock, so this was a great learning opportunity.  It was easssyyy!

I kicked up the spice - using a bunch of chili powder and red pepper flakes instead of the cayenne.  I think it could have used a little bit of garlic as well.

The soup was yummy!  I couldn't get it quite as smooth as I wanted it to be in my food processor.  I'm afraid I might have damaged the blades.  Does anyone know where I can get replacement blades for a Hamilton Beach food processor?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Silky Shrimp Bisque with Sherry
from Cookin' Canuck


3/4 lb medium shrimp, shelled & deveined, shells reserved
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup dry sherry
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp long-grain white rice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan set over moderately high heat. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until the tails turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until most of sherry is evaporated. Add water and bay leaf, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Pour shrimp stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Press gently on the shrimp shells to release extra liquid. Discard shells and bay leaf.

While stock is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl and set aside. To the saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive and carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until the onion and celery are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp stock, rice, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cover the saucepan and simmer the mixture until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve 8 shrimp and stir the remaining shrimp into the soup. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender or a regular blender (in 2 to 3 batches), puree the soup until smooth. Take care not to burn yourself. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in cream. Reheat on low.

Serve soup and garnish each serving with 2 of the reserved shrimp.

Makes 4 servings (appetizer size)

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