While the shrimp for this velvety smooth, slightly spicy bisque did not sleep in the ocean last night, they did recently sleep in the waters off South Carolina near Kiawah Island, so are bona fide wild shrimp.
This recipe is an adaptation of a shrimp bisque from Williams-Sonoma Soup Cookbook. It's a lovely soup, but I like my bisque a little spicy with some heat and substance. Deviating a bit from the classic recipe, I added tomatillos and chipotles en adobo to the shellfish broth. I pureed half the cooked and peeled shrimp, then for the finished product chopped the remainder of the shrimp and added it to the bisque. —Lynne317
yellow onion, thinly sliced
medium carrot, thinly sliced
large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
raw shrimp, shelled and deveined,reserve shells
plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
tomatillos, coarsely chopped
chipotles en adobo, with added sauce, minced
fish stock, prepared clam broth or chicken broth
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Saute, stirring until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp shells and sauté until pink and vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes, tomatillos, and minced chipotles en adobo along with the desired stock. Cook until tomatoes and tomatillos have softened, about 10 minutes. Will a slotted soon, remove shrimp shells and discard.
Process the mixture in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove to a fine-mesh strainer set over a soup pot. Press down on the solids with the back of a spoon to completely extract the liquid. Discard the solids.
Reserve about 24 shrimp or roughly half the shrimp. Add remaining shrimp and bread crumbs to the pot. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque and the bread crumbs have softened, about 3 minutes. Using a food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. An electric hand blend makes this an easy task.
Still on medium heat, add the cream, optional sherry, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook another 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chop the reserved shrimp in 1/2-1-inch pieces. Just before serving, add the shrimp pieces to the soup and cook until pink and opaque, 1-2 minutes longer. In warmed bowls, ladle the soup and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, if desired